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Rockland gun control law allows sheriff to hand out gun locks

A Glock 29 10-mm pistol hangs on display

A Glock 29 10-mm pistol hangs on display with other Glock hand guns at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade show in Las Vegas. (Jan. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

Rockland County lawmakers have passed legislation aimed at improving gun safety after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December.

The resolution, passed Tuesday night, allows the sheriff's department to hand out cable locks, which prevent live ammunition from being loaded into a firearm. The department has given out trigger locks since 2000, but Sheriff Louis Falco said the new locks can be used not only for pistols, but for long rifles and shotguns.

The program will come at no cost to county taxpayers, because 1,600 locks have been donated to the sheriff's department by Project Child Safe. Legislators insist they will attempt to get more locks through grants and private donations if they run low.

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef still needs to approve the measure.

The law's passing comes at a time of emotional debate about gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, in which 26 people, including 20 children, were shot to death. Wednesday, President Barack Obama announced 23 executive actions designed to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally unstable, and Orange County was scheduled to announce a gun buyback program Thursday morning.

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