Relates to possession of firearms on property owned by or held in trust for SUNY ESF.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to possession of firearms on property owned by or held in trust for SUNY ESF
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To restore hunting rights on SUNY ESF property.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends Section 265.01-a of the penal law pertaining to criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds. The bill adds the language "held in trust" when describing exemptions under this provision of the law.
Section 2 shall make the effective date immediately.
In the fall of 2013, SUNY ESF announced that it would ban hunting on 5,300 acres of its property in the North Country. This land had been regularly used by SUNY ESF's students and faculty for research and as well as being a popular location for small and big game hunters.
SUNY ESF's announcement was due to the firearm possession changes that were created under the NY SAFE Act. Under the SAFE Act, penalties were added for possessing a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes. While the law provided an exemption for land owned by SUNY ESF, it did not contain an exemption for property that is held in trust for SUNY ESF which includes 5,300 acres in the Adirondacks. Without mention of "land held in trust," under the law, an individual who possesses a shotgun, rife or firearm on theses premises in the Adirondacks could face a Class E Felony.
As a result, SUNY ESF made the decision to announce the hunting ban for its Adirondack properties to prevent hunters and outdoor sports enthusiasts from being potentially charged with a felony under the SAFE Act.
This legislation makes the technical changes that will once again open up these areas for hunting of big and small game.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None to the state.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6711--A IN SENATE March 3, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. DeFRANCISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to possession of firearms on property owned by or held in trust for SUNY ESF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 265.01-a of the penal law, as added by chapter 1 of the laws of 2013, is amended to read as follows: S 265.01-a
[.]Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds. A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds when he or she knowingly has in his or her possession a rifle, shotgun, or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educa- tional purposes, of any school, college, or university, except the forestry lands, wherever located, owned [and], maintained [by]OR HELD IN TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE NEW YORK STATE COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY, NOW KNOWN AS the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry, or upon a school bus as defined in section one hundred forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law, without the written authorization of such educational institution. Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds is a class E felony. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13060-02-4