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DA says no charges will be filed against Albion Gun Shop, customers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 September 2014 at 12:00 am

However, guns with bullet buttons will need to be modified

ALBION – Orleans County’s district attorney says Joe Palumbo, owner of the Albion Gun Shop, and 164 customers who purchased AR-15 guns don’t need to worry about facing charges for violating the SAFE Act, the state’s gun control measure approved in January 2013.

Palumbo has been worried since Thursday when the State Police demanded he turn over records of customers who purchased the AR-15. State police believe the gun, which requires a tool to release a bullet button, violated the SAFE Act. Police wanted a list of customers who bought it from Palumbo and he reluctantly turned over his records.

The issue has ignited a firestorm among Second Amendment supports and gun rights advocates. They are planning a rally 6 p.m. on Monday outside Palumbo’s store at 203 Hamilton St.

Joe Cardone, the county DA, believes a solution has been brokered where gun owners and Palumbo will be in compliance with the law without anyone being arrested.

The bullet buttons can simply be filled with epoxy, rendering them useless. Gun owners will have to crack open their AR-15 guns to reload.

“Putting epoxy where the bullet button is will make the feature unusable,” Cardone said this afternoon. “It is a simple and quick modification.”

Palumbo said many customers have been bringing in their guns and voluntarily having Palumbo fill the bullet buttons with epoxy since news broke the state police acquired the store’s records. Palumbo said it takes about five minutes to fill the holes with epoxy.

“I’ve been doing them all day,” he said at about 2:30 p.m. today.

He spoke with Cardone about the solution to complying with the SAFE Act. Palumbo said he wants the state police to put that in writing so he and his customers don’t have to worry about being charged with a crime under the SAFE Act.

“I’d totally be open to that,” he said about the solution using epoxy for the bullet buttons. “But I want it to be in writing. Right now nothing has been set in stone.”