Legislators Approve Firearm Cable Safety Distribution Program

They will work with the sheriff's department to distribute 1,600 locks


The Rockland County Legislature unanimously approved instituting a new program to give out free cable locks for firearms to local residents.

The Rockland County Firearms Cable Lock Safety Program was originally proposed by Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, and was also supported by not only a bipartisan group of other legislators, but also Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco.

The cable locks would come at no cost to the county taxpayers from the sheriff’s department, as Falco said they have a surplus. Falco said he has 1,600 locks to be distributed, with a limit of four per household.

Schoenberger said he originally wanted to bring back a similar program that saw the county distribute trigger locks for free back in 2000.

“With what’s been happening lately in the news, with guns and weapons and accessibility to them, I proposed the reinstitution of the trigger lock program, and Sheriff Falco and County Clerk Paul Piperato were also working on it,” Schoenberger said. “Sheriff Falco had received cable locks. Our last conversation with him, he had some 1,600 cable locks to be given out free to Rockland County residents. Now, cable locks, I think, are better than trigger locks. Trigger locks are mainly for pistols, firearms, handheld weapons and guns. Cable locks, however, can be used not only for handheld guns, but they can also be used for shotguns, rifles, which people have in their homes which you don’t need a permit for, therefore they didn’t appear on the list that was in the newspaper.”

With the trigger locks program, the county actually ran out after the initial distribution and then-Sheriff Jim Kralick secured more donations to be handed out. Chairwoman of the Legislature Harriet Cornell said all the cable locks that will be given out came from grants and private donations.

While four legislators — Legislators Aney Paul, John Murphy, Frank Sparaco and Patrick Moroney — were absent from the meeting, the other 13 voted in favor of implementing the program, and a few brought up possible ideas should the county give out all 1,600 locks.

“If they all do get given out and there’s no left, I would be willing to purchase more,” said Legislator Jay Hood. “I really do think it’s that important.”

Legislator Doug Jobson said he told Falco the same thing, and Legislator Michael Grant said he’d also be willing to dig into his own wallet to purchase more, or look into allocating county money to keep the program going.

“There’s nothing that could be more important than the safety of our public,” Grant said. “I think this will contribute to that.”

Schoenberger said the Ramapough Sportsmen Association, of which he is a member, has also said if the locks run out, they’ll look into getting more for the county at no cost.

Legislator Ed Day added he did some research and discovered a nationwide effort called Project ChildSafe, which, through grants, gives gun owners and law enforcement agencies firearm safety kits to then distribute for free to gun owners in the community. According to Project ChildSafe’s website, the group has distributed more than 35 million safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and in the five U.S. territories since 2003.

Mike Hirsch January 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM
What about Patrick Farm Ilan? We know that your buddy Chris St Lawrence is in favor of it. What is your position?
Tony T January 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Why only 4 per household....if the program does not accommodate all the guns in a household then it is nothing more than a feel good PC effort.
Richard Kavesh January 16, 2013 at 01:14 PM
...and since the County Legislature was falling all over itself to condemn the Journal News for publicizing the names and addresses of gun owners, how about condeming the NRA for its latest app? Thanks to the NRA, four year-olds can now practice their shooting skills on targets that are cyber coffins. What a true tasteless thing to do on the one-month anniversary of Newtown, "spitting on their graves," as the Daily News put it.
J H January 16, 2013 at 01:47 PM
I would hope that this is paid for via a fee on gun permits and/or a significant tax increase on ammunition and weapons? Certainly those of us who do not own guns should not have to pay for this. In fact, I would prefer that it be a legal mandate, with a program of inspection, that all firearms must be stored in secure gun lockers...
Robin Traum (Editor) January 16, 2013 at 02:00 PM
JH The firearms cable locks were obtained at no cost by the sheriff's office several years ago.
Gene January 16, 2013 at 02:09 PM
As retired law enforcement offical I believe its the responsiblity of the gun owner to secure his guns not the county!! Must be a lot of unsecured guns in the county!!
Don January 16, 2013 at 02:40 PM
As far as I've seen. Legislator Day is the only County Executive candidate who has given a statement on Patrick Farms. Nothing from Schoenberger, Fried, or Lacorte.
Tom McTaggart January 16, 2013 at 03:24 PM
If you have more than four guns in the house, then maybe you should be responsible enough to buy your own in excess of four -- or a gun safe!
amerpatriot January 16, 2013 at 07:23 PM
And I might add, that it was your thinking and those of similar thinking, to have the locks in the first place. So you want to have every gun owner put locks on their firearms because you say so, but you will have nothing to do with it, I would say well that's communism.
J H January 16, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Understood - who is paying employees for their time to distribute them? Plus: “If they all do get given out and there’s no left, I would be willing to purchase more,” said Legislator Jay Hood.
amerpatriot January 16, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Gene, I believe that gun owners are responsible people to begin with. Secured does not always mean "locked" in every situation. For home defense, it is not always the greatest idea, unless there are juveniles and adults who cannot be trusted there as well. It's part of being responsible. God forbid a homeowner would actually have to use his or her firearm for defense of person or home, fumbling with a trigger or cable lock could defeat the whole purpose, and actually get someone hurt or even killed. And often a firearm only has to be revealed in order to save lives. No gun owner actually WANTS to shoot an intruder. Anyone who believes that has been watching too much TV or playing violent video games.
Joan K January 16, 2013 at 08:05 PM
I hope all the people with the unlicensed guns come forward and get these locks.
Watchdog January 17, 2013 at 03:32 AM
"The cable locks would come at no cost to the county taxpayers from the sheriff’s department, as Falco said they have a surplus. Falco said he has 1,600 locks to be distributed, with a limit of four per household." Did Falco buy them with his own money?
Watchdog January 17, 2013 at 03:35 AM
If they had these locks in Columbine, Newtown and Fort Hood, it would not have prevented anything.
Bob January 17, 2013 at 11:10 AM
I have listened to the gun control debate for a very long time and I have not heard anything new in years. I have heard many silly statements made by people who are clearly ignorant about firearms. Like the abortion debate we can argue about this until we are blue in the face and we will never resolve the issue. The fact of the matter is that criminals and crazies will always find a way to get the means to commit their crimes. Write any law you like: ban ownership, transport, and manufacture of all weapons if you wish, but so long as weapons are manufatcured someplace here on earth, the black market will provide them to those who seek them. If you doubt this then explain why heroin, which is banned in all 50 states and most countires, is readily available in all 50 states.
amerpatriot January 17, 2013 at 01:34 PM
I agree wholeheartedly Bob. But the so-called "gun issue" is dead-on related to American citizen's liberties and freedoms as set forth in the very document that defines our government. One of the absolutely necessary factors that was required when the states agreed to form a nation was the GUARANTEE of the right to keep and bear arms. For any reason. Nobody had to give a reason. The reason is already given. Nothing about the abortion issue, or any other contrived scheme to change public sentiment endangers the laws of the Constitution. Can anyone own a gun? Of course not. Can anyone yell "fire!" in a movie theatre? Of course not. Those that wish to disregard the very foundations of our Constitution are traitors guilty of treason. I regard them as terrorists seeking to take over the nation and force their lunacy on everyone, like the Taliban does.
Jake Rokeach January 18, 2013 at 07:34 PM
What do gun locks have to do with Patrick Farm? What does Ilan Schoenberger have to do with Patrick Farm besides live in the vicinity? As a County Legislator he has no authority to do anything about Patrick Farm one way or the other. Neither does Day. He just pretends he can. Congratulate him for bloviating.
Don January 18, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Well, now that Ilan Schoenberger has announced his candidacy, we are now hearing from him on some issues. Patrick Farm is a topic that many Rocklanders are concerned about. As an elected official, we would like to know what Ilan thinks about the issue. Rockland's population growth (Patrick Farm would contribute that it) is also related to another important topic - the desalination plant. If someone is running for Executive, we should know his opinions on the various topics that affect us. Sorry if you disagree.
Jake Rokeach January 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Don, as much as I may not agree with the development at Patrick Farm, I understand that it is a town issue and not a county issue. The town of Ramapo is being sued, not the County. The county exec has no ability to influence the court or the developer. Asking any of the candidates for County Exec what they think of Patrick Farm is like asking a fish what kind of bicycle he prefers to ride. All of this is beside the point. This is an article about guns, not arguments about land use.
Don January 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Here's what's ironic, Jake. Over the summer, Samuel Road in Nanuet was closed because of safety issue. When the residents called the county about it, they were told it was a town issue, not a county issue. It's town road, not a country road. That did not stop Ilan Schoenberger from co-sponsoring a resolution in which the county sued one of its towns, Clarkstown (funny, because he wants to "a government that works in coordination with town and village governments", isn't it?). But some believe that this occurred to "get back" at Gromack because over disagreements he's had with the county on certain issues. Anyway, it seems like Ilan does not mind getting involved in town issues, right? So I don't believe that asking for his stance on something that many Rocklanders are concerned about is far-reaching. It's also good that some legislators are speaking about it even if they can't do anything about it, because they are at least educating their constituents. If you can find an article about Patrick Farm on the Patch, I would be more than happy to post my inquiry there, also.
Jake Rokeach January 19, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Regarding that last remark, wasn't the whole thing Ed Day's fault? I remember Alexander Gromack specifically blaming Ed Day, and not Ilan Schoenberger, in his open letter to the legislature.
Don January 19, 2013 at 01:24 PM
For the lawsuit? It was introduced by Schoenberger and Moroney.
Mike Hirsch January 20, 2013 at 03:02 AM
Jake, Ed Day is one of only a handfull of our local politicians who is in the game for what he can do for us rather than what we, the taxpayers, can do for him. We are very fortunate that he has waded into this cesspool. I'm sure he will be happy to meet with you if you would reach out to him.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something