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Suffolk Legislature OKs gun-crime registry

Suffolk County legislators have approved a measure to build and maintain a database of people convicted of gun-related crimes that also requires offenders to register with the county.

The legislation, sponsored by Legis. DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville), calls for a registry containing the name, photograph, residence and workplace or school location of anyone convicted of a gun crime in the county.

"This will be for law enforcement purposes and keep an eye on those who are more likely to commit gun crimes in the future," Gregory said during a midday news conference. "That's the real purpose here."

The registry, unlike the county's sex offender registry and Gregory's proposed domestic violence registry, would not be made available online to the public.

"We want those professionals to have access for information that they need," he said. "These are violent criminals. This is not something that we think would be acceptable for the public to have access to."

Gun convicts who fail to register with the county would be subject to a fine up to $1,000 and a year in prison.

Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley), a co-sponsor of the legislation, said police officers should know when entering a home or business that someone convicted of a gun crime is present and for law enforcement to track such people.

"Sometimes these people with gun offenses, they can disappear," she said.

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