New York to Require Gun Sellers to Hang Signs Saying Guns Can Be Dangerous

by Vern Evans
Vintage store sign on the side of a building of a gun store shop in Australia

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New York State gun stores will soon be required to post warning signs on the premises that basically say having a firearm in your home is harmful to your health and others. This is yet again another example of helicopter Senators who say they are on the forefront of addressing issues related to gun use by trying to overly supervise their constituents’ lives while not addressing the real issues at hand.

New York Senate Bill S6649 will require gun stores and gunsmiths to place signs—yes multiple signs—that warn customers that firearm purchases “significantly increase” the risk of suicide, lethal domestic violence or deadly accidents to children.

The actual warning sign must read:

Access to a weapon or firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide, death during domestic disputes, and/or unintentional deaths to children, household members and others. If you or a loved one is experiencing distress and/or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.”

The soon to be law, sitting on Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk ready for her expected signature, requires multiple warning signs to be hung. One warning sign must be posted at an entrance, a second where the firearms are being sold and “at least one more in an additional area” by licensed gun dealers or gunsmiths.

It begs me to wonder if gun sellers and gunsmiths also be required to provide counseling services to those who exercise their 2A right? New York Senators must believe that their citizens are not emotionally intelligent enough to understand the responsibilities of gun ownership.

Suicide, domestic violence and keeping our children safe are the real issues. The justification for the bill cites a number of research projects including a Swiss-based report on increased gun ownership in the U.S., and a study by the Annals of Internal Medicine that exposed children to firearms in their home. The data was also used to determine that guns in households led to more suicides and domestic violence. Shouldn’t the effort be placed to better help those depressed and contemplating suicide? Or those exposed to violence in their home by a spouse or domestic partner? Shouldn’t we be teaching our kids that guns can kill just like a hot stove burns or look both ways before crossing the street?

I can image what gun retailers might be telling firearm customers in the near future: Here is a flyer on a local concealed carry course, a link to public lands open to hunting and the 1-800 number for health an human services. The time and effort put into this bill and enacting this law could have been better used to enhance existing social programs that deal with domestic violence, children’s safety and suicide preventions. Doctors, councillors, social workers and all those people with the hands on experience need to help people in crisis. The rest of us can help by talking to friends, neighbors and relatives before the thought of violence even enters their mind.

This soon to be law is a blatant Band Aid approach that guns cause problems. Problems are caused by people. Make the process for getting help easier and faster.

I suppose the New York State Senate needs someone to blame someone when tragedy involves a gun. These are sure warning signs that the New York Senate does not have a handle on the real issues and that maybe a sign should be hung up in the state house warning that stupidity leads to the creation of bad, pointless laws.

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