Buffalo Police Confiscate Guns of Recently Deceased Owner

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Law Shield was shocked — but not surprised — to watch a press conference in which Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda announced that his agency will dispatch officers to collect guns that belonged to recently deceased pistol permit holders.

Fox News reported that under state law, when a permit holder passes, his or her estate has only 15 days to either dispose of the firearms or surrender them to authorities, who may hold onto them for as long as two years. Click here to read New York State’s FAQ on deceased licensees.

Commissioner Derenda told WGRZ-TV, “We recently started a program where we’re cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we’re sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands. Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street.”

We’re disappointed that police would peruse the obituaries and compare the names of recently deceased persons with their pistol permit records, and then send officers to take those guns. There has to be a better way to address this.

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