Public hearing on Yates County Building weapons law Dec. 29

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express
Yates County Legislature

PENN YAN — A public hearing on proposed local law 3-2021 entitled "A Local Law Banning the Possession of Firearms and Dangerous Weapons in Buildings Owned, Leased or Operated By the County of Yates" will be held Dec. 29 at 1:40 p.m. in the legislature's chamber.


Prior to approving the public hearing at the Dec. 13 legislative session, Legislator Jim Multer (District IV, Barrington, Starkey) moved for two changes to the law; removing the words "either" and "or concealed" from section 2 of the law, thus making the law apply only to displayed weapons; and removing section 3, the exemption for employees.

The altered version of the proposed local law:

LEGISLATIVE INTENT In order to ensure essential government functions without fear, threat, intimidation, or harm to any person or function therein, the County of Yates, through its Legislature in its proprietary capacity, declares that it is necessary for the security, safety, protection and well-being of its employees, its property, and any individuals present thereupon, to place restrictions on the bearing and possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons and instruments by individuals being present in buildings owned, leased or operated by the County of Yates.

Section 2. PROHIBITION This local law prohibits any individual from bearing or having in his or her possession, either  openly or concealed, any dangerous weapon, with "dangerous weapon" being defined as any weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade less than two and one-half (2-~) inches in length. A dangerous weapon includes, but is not limited to, a firearm, gun, explosive device or substance, a conductive energy device (CED; for example, Taser), a lethal or debilitating chemical or gas, a handgun, pistol, target pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, dangerous knife, dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto or imitation firearm or weapon, while being present in any building owned, leased, or operated by the County of Yates.

Section 3. EXEMPTION This local law shall not apply to any authorized peace officer or police officer, as defined in the New York State Criminal Procedure Law, or any other person employed by local, county, state or federal government who is duly exempted by the Yates County Sheriff.

Section 4. PENALTY A violation of any of the provisions of this local law shall constitute an offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) and/or a term of imprisonment in the Yates County Jail not to exceed three (3) months.

Section 5. SEVERABILITY If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part ofthis Local Law shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the reminder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

Section 6. EFFECTIVE DATE This Local Law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State