A group of New York sheriffs is pushing back on new gun restrictions in the state, arguing a new law will unfairly target law-abiding citizens.
The law, which seeks to ban guns in “sensitive areas” like subways, religious centers and Times Square, was temporarily blocked in large part by a federal judge in early October. Judge Glenn T. Suddaby found that the law violated New Yorkers’ rights.
Richard Giardino, sheriff of Fulton County, explained his opposition to the new law on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday and said he’s using his discretion in responding to calls and complaints.
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“It unfairly targets law-abiding citizens who previously could carry concealed and could go into a store in a restaurant. And then on September 1st, all of a sudden, they could be charged with a felony,” he told host Steve Doocy.
Giardino said he’s not refusing to enforce the law; rather, he said he plans to enforce the law when necessary.
Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, attends a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, US, on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022.
(Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“We’re going to use our discretion to not go on complaints that say, ‘oh, my neighbor has a bulge on his side, we think he’s got a gun, he’s in a store,’” he said.
He said the department’s limited resources need to be used to the fullest capacity as violent crime in the state is on the rise.
“We’re more concerned with the criminals who are killing people and injuring people every day on the streets,” Giardino explained.
Giardino said his goal is to educate people who are unaware of the new law, not make needless arrests.
Signs read "Gun Free Zone" in New York City’s Manhattan borough.
(Jennifer Golotko/Fox News Digital)
He said the main problem with the new gun law is the same as the problem with the bail reform – there was no input from law enforcement officials on the law signed by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“They set this up,” Giardino said. “On July 1st, they signed a new law without any hearings, without any input.”
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“It’s very frustrating for us because they do not ask us [about] what’s a good reform.”