If Signed Bill Would Outlaw Youth Shooting Programs

Youth Shooting Programs are in serious jeopardy in New York

I grew up shooting. I fired my first gun at the age of 4 with my grandpa. Everyone of my siblings followed suit and so have my children. My grandma even teaches pistol, rifle, and archery to kids in her 4-H club. We all developed a respect for firearms and I feel that starting young is very important.

But these type of programs would be severely limited in New York if the Governor signs a piece of legislation that already passed the legislature.

Last week, in a letter to the editor of the Watertown Daily Times, Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli wrote, “…the law prohibits the owner of a firearm from knowingly allowing any person younger than 16 to have access to their firearms unless the firearm is in their “immediate possession or control” outside of the home, unless said youth has a hunting license and is hunting. The only way for a loaded firearm to be in the “immediate possession or control” of the owner is to be within arm’s reach at all times.”

He continued, ”this bill will effectively outlaw all youth shooting activities, competitions and training for those individuals younger than 16 who are not hunting.”

Not only is the local Sheriff taking issue with the ban, but so are New York’s Rod and Gun clubs. The Newfield Rod and Gun club posted their take on the bill on their Facebook page.

A02686A / S02450A – Recently Passed both the NYS Senate & Assembly…Waiting on Cuomo’s signature.
As written, this Bill will effectively outlaw ALL youth shooting activities, competitions and training for those individuals under the age of 16 who are not hunting. The second portion of the law prohibits the owner of a firearm from knowingly allowing any person under the age of 16 access to their firearms unless the firearm is in their “immediate possession or control” outside of the home, unless said youth has a hunting license and is hunting. The only way for a loaded firearm to be in the “Immediate possession or control” of the owner is to be within arm’s reach at ALL times.
There are no exemptions for High School trap, 4H, Boy Scouts or for that matter even the shooting portion of the hunter safety program or NRA firearm training program. In addition, there is no exemption for Adult competition shooters who leave their firearm in the gun rack unlocked while waiting for their match if there are any youths at
the event either as competitors or spectators. Such activities are very common place in Northern New York such as the Northern Tier Trap League, Skeet shooting, sporting clays, precision rifle and 3 Gun events to name a few.
This Bill is fatally flawed. It treats all youths less than 16 years of age as equals the youth who has never seen a firearm is on the same footing as one who has handled firearms for years. The law should be struck down as unconstitutional. At the bare minimum, the Bill should exempt not only those persons less than 16 for hunting purposes, but also those that have undertaken/undertaking ANY type of formalized firearms training…i.e. 4H, NRA, Hunter Safety, School, Fish & Game Club, etc. As written, the same youth that could go hunting with a firearm, could not shoot High School trap, target shoot or even sight in their hunting Rifle.
This Bill is yet another example of either ignorance by our elected officials in what they were passing, or an underhanded way to getting a near total prohibition of youth firearm activities.
Patrick J Morse – North Country Friends of the 2nd Amendment
Michael Carpinelli – Lewis County Sheriff

As of right now this legislation is only in one state, but like anything else it could easily be brought up in others. This is a direct assault on the 2nd amendment and our freedoms. This type of legislation should not stand.