February 12, 2013

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Westchester lawmakers approve gun violence prevention resolution

WHITE PLAINS – The Westchester County Board of Legislators Monday night approved a resolution urging the federal government to enact stronger measures to prevent further gun violence.

Democratic Majority Leader Peter Harckham was one of the two lawmakers who crafted the legislation.

“We wanted to be mindful of both protecting the rights of lawful gun owners while making a meaningful contribution to gun violence prevention,” he said.

Harckham developed the local resolution along with Republican Minority Leader James Maisano.

The resolution supports greater federal gun control measures including mandatory background checks on all gun sales, lifting database restrictions to allow local law officers access to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives information and increased sentencing penalties for criminals convicted of using firearms during violent crimes.

The resolution calls for mental health providers to notify gun permit issuers of anyone involuntarily committed to a mental institution, or found to be a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness with all information included in a national instant check system, and also says that community-based mental health programs need increased federal funding.

 The Westchester bill was approved unanimously.


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