Weapons ban no longer part of Murray workplace violence prevention policy

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 July 2016 at 12:00 am

MURRAY – Members of the Murray Town Board on Tuesday evening have a public hearing scheduled on Local Law No. 2 of 2016 which would enact a workplace violence prevention policy for the town.

When the first public hearing on the law was held in March, a group of residents demonstrated against it, saying the the section which banned firearms from town property, buildings and vehicles was unconstitutional.

“The law is belligerent to the Constitution,” resident Kerri Neale told the board at that time.

The board decided to table its decision and has since decided to remove any references to weapons in the law.

Town attorney Jeff Martin says the reason the weapons ban was initially part of the law was that the town’s insurance carrier, New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) had recommended the town adopt a workplace violence policy which included the firearms ban.

NYMIR has since “backed off” regarding the ban, Martin said.

“There will be no repercussion for dropping it from the policy,” Martin said. “They will not be dropping us as a carrier nor increasing our premiums.”

Martin said those who had concerns over the initial version of the law should be pleased with the modifications.

He explained that he spoke with Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower regarding eliminating provisions in the policy pertaining to weapons on town property, and the sheriff was in agreement with the town. Both town leaders and the sheriff questioned, “How, as a practical matter, do you enforce the ban?” Martin said.

He noted that if at some time in the future, the town wishes to revisit the issue, it can do so.

Tuesday’s public hearing on the amended law is scheduled for 7 p.m. The regular Town Board meeting will follow.