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March 1st was just another day when I put my 10 year old, fourth grade son John on the bus and sent him off to school. Or so I thought. On the contrary, today was the day that my life as a gun owner was about to change, dramatically and rapidly.
Sometime during the day, my son allegedly spoke with a few of his classmates. The boys (excluding my son) were involved in a school yard pushing incident the day before. Two or three of these boys (including my son) were talking about going to the house of the boys that did the pushing. These boys were to take with them a water, paint and bb gun. Word of this got to the principal. She immediately interrogated the children. I received a call from the principal advising me of this just as my son got off the bus. She also advised me that my son was to be suspended for two days because of his words. She decided that this talk amongst students warranted filing a police report. If this wasn't bad enough, the police were sent to my residence and I was advised that my guns may be taken from me. This can't be happening, I thought. But it was.
The following Monday I received a call from Pistol Licensing that they would be at my residence in the morning to take my guns and suspend my license. I attempted to explain that this must be a mistake, no wrong doing occurred on my part. My son has no access to any of my guns. The officer that came to my residence saw that all my guns were secured.Pistol Licensing was not interested in my side of the story. They were only interested in what happened with my ten year old son in school.
If you think this can't happen to you, you are wrong. It is happening every day here in American. Kids get suspended from school and the aftermath can be as ugly as my situation.
When will my license be restored? What is involved? What is the cost? These are all questions that I had. Some still remain unanswered. The few answers I have are not at all comforting. According to the police, I can expect to have my license restored when my son is an adult and moves out of my residence. If I don't want to wait that long I can file an Article 78 and request that my license be reinstated. The cost, so far, about $6,500 monetarily. Emotionally, the cost is far, far higher. That can't be calculated. All my handguns are gone, my license is suspended and my long arms are out of the house waiting to be sold at a local store.
What can you do to protect yourself and others? First, pick up the phone and call Senator Flanagans office. Demand that they enact legislation similar to Maryland's Senate Bill 1058. It will protect school age children, their rights and those of their parents. Second, keep a firearms attorney on your speed dial. Carry his card. Remember his number. Next, buddy up with someone you trust that has a valid pistol license. Be ready at a moments notice to transfer your guns to him. You of course will do the same for him if the need arises. That will protect your guns from becoming property of the County in which you live. Talk to your kids. This is what hurts. In order to make them "School Compliant", you will have to supress there rights to exist as children. Don't let them say "pow" when they point there little fingers. Don't let them mention guns, water, paint, bb, or other. You just learned what can happen. And it happened right here in Suffolk County, to one of us.
With any luck, and some hard work from us all, a bill comparable to 1058 will pass here in New York. Then we can begin to breathe more freely. Schools need to understand that 5-12 year olds pointing their fingers in harmless gestures, are not the threats they need to subdue. What we need to subdue is the army of over zealous, over paid, school administrators that suddenly have become the "finger pointing police",
This is the lunacy that is now in our schools. Read about it and weep.
Another school district is requesting that a deaf students name be changed because when using sign language his name "resembles a weapon"
I am confident that there are many more of these suspensions . Most, like my son's, have yet to make it to the media. In speaking with attorneys, I have learned that these suspensions are reaching alarming levels.
The "Pastry Gun Suspension" has already started a cry for the enactment of legislation by Senator J. B. Jennings.
Senate Bill 1058 (The Reasonable School Discipline Act of 2013) was created by Senator Jennings to eradicate these issues in Maryland.
This is exactly the type of legislation we need here in New York to protect our children, our guns and our rights.
A good place to start is Senator Flanagans office. This occurred in his district. His phone number is 631-361-2154. His contact information can be found here http://www.nysenate....lanagan/contact
Be aware. Be prepared. Be vigilant. Be safe.