GUN SAFETY, EDUCATION THE FOCUS IN COLLABORATION BETWEEN GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION TASK FORCE, ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF’S BEHAVIORAL THREAT ASSESSMENT TEAM

Modified: January 25, 2023 10:56am

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Date: 
1/25/23

The Erie County Gun Violence Task Force (“the Task Force”) and the Erie County Sheriff’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Team (“the Team”) are collaborating to promote gun safety and education in Erie County, with the Task Force supplying one hundred gunlocks and accompanying gun safety information for the Team to use during interactions with the public. New York State penal law §265.50 requires that rifles, shotguns and firearms be safely and securely stored or locked when a person less than the age of sixteen could potentially access the firearm, or the firearm owner could face a fine of up to $250.

 

“Gun safety and education can always be improved and I thank the Task Force and the Threat Assessment Team for working together to keep our community safer,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Something as simple as a gun lock could save a life if that firearm fell into the wrong hands, so every measure, every action, every effort to better protect the public is worth it. Erie County is committed to preventing gun-related tragedies and partnerships such as this demonstrate that commitment.”

 

“With help from the Erie County Legislature and the County Executive, I established the Erie County Sheriff’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Team following the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Buffalo on May 14, 2022,” said Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. “This team’s primary focus is to keep our community safe by investigating and interrupting pathways to intended violence so we can prevent additional tragedies. Since its inception, the team has conducted twenty-two investigations. Of those investigations, firearms were a factor in 75% of the cases. Gun owners must be responsible and secure their firearms from those suffering from mental health issues and those who may have nefarious intentions.”

 

Task Force member and Executive Director of the Stop the Violence Coalition Murray Holman added, “The Task Force has been working in the community to lessen incidents of gun violence and we welcome partners in that effort. By supplying these gun locks it is our hope that more lives are saved and tragedies prevented, and we stand ready to supply more of these locks if they are needed. All of us should be concerned about gun violence in our community and we can all play a role in reducing it.”

 

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