Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Attorney General questioned on gun control

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Albany/HV: Attorney General questioned on gun control
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Charged with upholding the laws of the land, no matter how new, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman certainly has his hands full. YNN's John Wagner spoke with the top legal officer about enforcing gun control and how one police chief says he'll do the same.

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Regardless of their opinion on New York's gun control measures, many gun owners awoke Tuesday, unsure whether their guns and ammo clips violate the new law.

"We're talking about a comprehensive scheme the likes of which we've never seen in New York and I don't think any state has ever seen," said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

New York's top legal officer says public service announcements may be an effective way to clear up the confusion.

"Once the dust clears and some of these technical issues are addressed, I think most sportsmen will see that this does not pose a threat to them," said Schneiderman.

The Department of Criminal Justice Services, State Police and county sheriffs will be in charge of education, then implementation. The attorney general says the ongoing monitoring of gun shops will be expanded. The law rushed through the state senate with few senators having read the bill and no time for a public debate, leaving some technical issues needing to be resolved through chapter amendments.

"The process in Albany is often not pretty, but I think everyone should focus on the substance of the legislation," said Schneiderman.

The new gun laws didn't include an exemption for local law enforcement, so police in Poughkeepsie carrying guns with 13 or 15 bullet clips are technically rendered illegal. But the police chief says he's been assured that an exemption amendment is in the works.

"If everybody has the same firepower we do or more, we play by the rules, they don't," said Poughkeepsie's Police Chief Ron Knapp.

Knapp says the majority of shootings in Poughkeepsie come from handguns, not assault rifles. But they do come across them in search warrants and this would allow cops to take them from criminals. He believes the law is well intentioned, but Chief Knapp says many of the guns in Poughkeepsie actually come from other states.

"Not everyone has the same regulations that New York does. That's why last year, we seized 49 handguns," said Knapp. "Sure, once they get here, they're illegal, but we need to standardize across the country how we look at gun control."

The attorney general says he anticipates lawsuits in the future, for now, he's gearing up to enforce the law. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP