Gunther, Cahill and Metzger break with Dems on gun safe-storage bill (updated with correction)

Assembly members Aileen Gunther of Forestburgh and Kevin Cahill of Kingston both broke ranks with fellow Democrats by voting against a bill passed by both the Assembly and Senate on Monday that will require gun owners with children in the house to lock up their firearms.

Both chambers have large Democratic majorities and easily approved the proposal over Republican opposition. The other three Democratic lawmakers representing parts of Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties supported the legislation; all five Republican senators and Assembly members for those counties voted against the bill.

(Correction: Sen. Jen Metzger of Rosendale also voted against the safe-storage bill, which means three out of five Democrats from the region opposed it. “I voted against the bill because, while I believe safe storage of guns is very important, I view the bill’s criminal classification as unreasonably punitive,” Metzger said.)

The bill, which must be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to become law, would require gun owners to keep unattended firearms in a locked box or fitted with trigger locks if a child under 16 or someone prohibited from having a gun is in the house. Failure to do so would be a misdemeanor. The bill’s passage follows the Legislature’s approval of six gun-control bills in January after Democrats won control of the Senate.

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