Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 20, 2013

Shot in line of duty, law enforcement officials have different views on gun law

Shot in line of duty, law enforcement officials have different views on gun law

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

As an example of that, Eggert pointed out that the assault weapon he was shot with had been purchased legally and then given to the felon who used it. The practice is what is known as a “straw sale.”

“I hope (penalties for people who engage in straw sales) are addressed in the (NY SAFE Act),” Eggert said. “You need a comprehensive look (at gun violence). You can’t just put a bandage on the problem.”

The Lockport chief said national legislation is probably the best answer so that rules on gun ownership are uniform from state to state.

“Despite the law here, you can still get in your car and drive 200 miles (to Ohio) and buy (guns there),” Eggert said.

Gee, on the other hand, while agreeing with Eggert on the mental health provisions in the new law, sees huge problems with the ammo magazine restrictions.

“The seven round magazine is a joke,” Gee said. “I was just out this past weekend, shooting with the LaSalle Sportsmens Club, there were 45 to 50 shooters doing competitive shooting, which is a sport, and we were using 22 (caliber handguns) which use a 10-round magazine. Now that is going to be illegal?”

Gee said he doesn’t own or shoot assault weapons and so, like Eggert, he is accepting of the assault weapons ban — to a point.

“I don’t own assault weapons, I don’t use them. Let them do anything they want with assault weapons,” he said. “But an assault weapons ban doesn’t work. It’s not the gun that does the crime, it’s the shooter.”

Pointing to his own shooting, Gee notes the suspects were armed with stolen shotguns, not assault weapons. He also credits his expertise in shooting, developed through competitive shooting, with saving his life and those of his fellow officers.

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