October 22, 2021

C’ville town code firearm addition tabled

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Cortlandville’s town board is considering a law restricting guns in public buildings but tabled a vote Wednesday to consider revisions to it.

The additions to the town code would prevent a person from bringing a firearm into Cortlandville’s government buildings and bans firing them in or on town premises, according to the provision.

Penalties for both would be fines of up to $200 and/or a 10-day jail sentence for carrying a weapon into a town building and a charge of a misdemeanor in addition to fines up to $100 and/or imprisonment for firing a weapon in or on town premises.

Exceptions would include law enforcement.

Supervisor Tom Williams said no recent events prompted Williams to ask Town Attorney John DelVecchio to draft the additions.

“I think in today’s heightened security, it probably would be a good idea to have a policy,” Williams said, noting that federal governmental buildings, schools and other public buildings don’t allow people to bring in firearms.

Williams proposed that the exception for who could bring in a firearm into one of the town’s buildings could include someone who was not a part of law enforcement but designated by the town supervisor or the supervisor with concurrence from the town board for a specific period of time.

“I’m thinking there is a possibility you could have a non-police officer that has business with the town that is legally armed” and should be able to be allowed in, such as a private investigator or politician’s security detail, he said.

Further, Williams proposed exceptions that could potentially include public officials who have been granted permission.

Board member Douglas Withey said he liked the addition but thought Williams’ requested amendments might make people uneasy with the fact certain people might be able to bring in weapons.

DelVecchio, upon suggestion from Williams, said he would see what similar laws other municipalities in Central New York have to consider changing the language of Cortlandville’s proposed law. He will also get in contact with the county sheriff’s office for further advice.

The proposed law, if agreed upon at the July 15 meeting, would be brought up for a public hearing at the board’s Aug. 5 meeting.