October 24, 2021

Truxton may buck gun laws

Town could be second in New York to defy state, following Solon

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The town of Truxton could follow Solon to become the second municipality in the state to pass a law in defiance of future state gun regulations.

The proposed law, which will have a public hearing on March 18, would prohibit the local enforcement of any future state gun laws, putting the town in the company of more than 400 municipalities in 20 states that have passed measures opposing state or federal guns laws, according to The Trace, a nonprofit news group that focuses on gun issues.

In the span of two months last year, Virginia saw more 120 towns, cities and counties pass such measures. Also, dozens of county sheriffs in New Mexico, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, and Illinois have vowed not to enforce certain gun laws.

The Truxton law is, with a few minor variations, almost identical to a law adopted last week by the Solon Town Board, and both follow closely the wording of a template municipal ordinance circulated by the Gun Owners of America, a hardline gun rights group.

The proposed Truxton gun law would:

  • Prohibit any town official or employee from participating in the enforcement of future state gun laws or from using town funds to aid in such enforcement.
  • Allow town residents to sue anyone accused of violating the law in state Supreme Court for “declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorney’s fees” as well as a civil fine between $500 and $2,000.

The law would not:

  • Apply to convicted felons or those prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.
  • “Prohibit in any way the prosecution of any crime for which the use of, or possession of, a firearm is an aggregating factor or enhancement to an otherwise independent crime.”
  • Allow firearms possession in areas where they are now prohibited by law.
    Sutton has said the proposed law is mainly symbolic.

“It’s basically a statement in support of the Second Amendment,” Sutton said. “We don’t have a police force, so we’re not in a position to be enforcing any of those laws.”

Solon Town Supervisor Steve Furlin has made similar comments about Solon’s law. Solon also lacks a police force. Law enforcement in both towns is handled by state police and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office.