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Cops Angry Over State's New Anti-Gun Laws

By Murray Weiss | January 17, 2013 6:54am
 A man loads .45 caliber rounds into a clip.
A man loads .45 caliber rounds into a clip.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY — One unlikely group is upset with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tough anti-gun law cops.

Buried in the state’s new anti-gun law, retired officers — like the general public — are restricted to only seven bullets in an ammo clip.

Police officers, federal agents, prison guards, state police and other members of law enforcement are already clamoring for an amendment to the law to allow the state's 100,000 retired officers to keep 10- and 15-bullet magazines for their guns, insisting they need the extra firepower should they ever confront a Newtown, Conn., situation.

Technically, any retired cop with more than seven bullets in a clip would be in violation of the law.

“As a law enforcement officer for over 20 years, I understand the importance of instituting a new policy on mandating the limits of bullets that a regular citizen can possess, but as a matter of fact the bad guys are not going to follow this law,” said Norman Seabrook, president of the correction officers union, the city’s second largest.

“The way the current legislation is drafted, it actually handcuffs the law enforcement community from having the necessary ammunition needed to save lives,” he said. “We must not allow this to happen.”

Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association and a lawyer, said, “It puts retired officers in a position that the clip they were issued by the NYPD, carried for their careers and were fully trained on, is now considered contraband.”

Michael J. Palladino, who is head of the NYPD’s 6,000-member detectives union and president of the state’s association of Patrolmen Benevolent Association that represents 50,000 members, joined in calling for Cuomo and the Legislature to immediately amend the law.

“Gun reform must prevent criminals and the deranged from getting illegal weapons — not restrict law-abiding retired cops from protecting themselves and the public,” Palladino said.

“I support the governor in gun reform, however the new legislation restricts law enforcement officers who retire and that could jeopardize the safety of the public.”

The new law allows officers who have 10-bullet clips to keep the clip, but they must load them with only seven bullets. For officers who have 15-bullet magazines, they must turn them in and replace them with seven-shot clips.

Despite the sharp criticism of this loophole in the law, the law enforcement heads were pleased with the move to allow retired cops to keep their names and addresses private if they have weapons. That followed the recent controversial disclosure of all legal weapon owners by the Journal News.

The Legislature has a 60-day window to amend the new anti-gun law.