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In Suffolk County, since 2011, 139 people–including nine children and teens–committed suicide with a gun.

Suffolk County is the latest New York County to consider a gun safe storage law. DuWayne Gregory, County Legislature Presiding Officer, proposed a law (Resolution 1777-2016) September 9 requiring gun owners to install safety locks on their weapons or store them in safes.

Gregory commented, “It is imperative that if people are going to continue to own guns that we protect children and other innocents who inadvertently fall victim to firearms that are left unattended and unsecured. This is about responsible gun ownership.”

Law Would Reduce Suicides and Gun Thefts

More than 75% of guns used to commit suicide come from the homes of the victim, a relative or a friend.

In Suffolk County, 139 people committed suicide with a gun in the past five years–including nine children and teens. According to the Suffolk County Police Department, an average of 142 guns are reported stolen each year, contributing to illegal guns in the county’s communities. Suffolk County experienced an astounding 21.4% increase in gun violence injuries and deaths from 2014 to 2015.

NYAGV is advocating on both the municipal and state level for safe storage laws, since they’ve proven to prevent shooting deaths and injuries as well as gun thefts. The state-wide Nicholas’s Law was approved by the New York State Assembly in 2015 but has not been taken up by the Senate.

Seven New York municipalities have enacted safe storage laws: Albany, New York City, Saratoga Springs, Westchester County, Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester. A safe storage law has also been proposed in Nassau County.

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