A Westchester judge has ruled that storing a firearm behind a glass display does not meet minimum safe storage standards in a particular case, a ruling that serves as an early interpretation of the state’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013.
After Vittorio Ciraco pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal contempt and received three years probation, his gun license was revoked and he surrendered his gun to police, because his probation terms specified he could not have or use “any firearm/ammunition or any other dangerous weapon.”
Ciraco told his probation officer he wanted to transfer the surrendered weapon to his father, who lived with him. The father would then presumably seek a permit for the gun and keep it with his other licensed firearms behind a locked glass display case in their home.
The probation department asked the court to enlarge the probation terms to prevent the transfer.
Acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci said the situation raised two concerns: one being “the accessibility of the weapons to the probationer” and if the father’s gun storage runs afoul of a part of the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
A new provision, Penal Law §265.45, requires firearm owners or custodians to keep weapons “in an appropriate safe storage depository” or affix a gun lock when living with someone who they know, or have reason to know, cannot possess firearms.
Capeci noted there were no reported cases interpreting the provision, but said the glass display, albeit locked, did not pass muster. She agreed to enlarge the terms to prohibit transfer but added she would “consider” removing the block if the father could show his firearms were stored in an appropriate safe.
Westchester Assistant District Attorney Courtney Johnson appeared for the prosecution in People v. Ciraco, 11-6117M.
Joseph Miano of White Plains represented Ciraco.