I was close to beginning this article by saying only in New York. Sadly, that’s not true. There are a number of states today with some truly horrible gun laws and attitudes toward Second Amendment rights. But the Empire State is still right up near the top of that list and this story won’t do much to improve our reputation.
Buffalo, New York police are now visiting the homes of those recently departed in search of firearms as part of a new plan to help keep tabs on local guns.
The move, put into effect by Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda, is described as an effort to stop firearms, specifically handguns, from winding up back in circulation and off the books.
“We recently started a program where we’re cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we’re sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands,” Derenda told WGRZ. “Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street.”
Well there’s a comforting thought for you. There’s just been a death in the family, visitors are in from out of town, your aunts have brought over dishes of pasta and salads and are gathered in the living room sipping coffee and talking about happier days with the dearly departed. And then there’s a knock on the door. You get up to answer it and you find uniformed officers standing there with a warrant wanting to know where the guns previously registered to the individual who has shuffled off this mortal coil might be.
Of course, this is the region around Buffalo. It’s the same general area where enthusiastic law enforcement officials and legal scholars removed the guns from the home of David Lewis. (There’s an adventure in gun confiscation if you’ve never read it.)
When my father passed away he left my brother and I what would, even by cautious terms, be called an arsenal. Nobody came to the door. Nobody asked what would happen to the weapons. They were passed on, as they have always been, with the rest of the estate. Some of them are now in the hands of the next generation. But no more, it seems. New York is ready to scour every corner looking for any weapons which might not have every last bit of paperwork filed in advance and checked in with the Powers That Be.
Good luck out there.