The city of Poughkeepsie, New York was considering an ordinance that would require all gun-owning residents to keep their firearms locked up at all times. As you would expect, the pro-gun community showed up in full force, much to the dismay of one Democrat councilman Joe Rich, from the 2nd Ward.
He accused these people of not wanting this local law to work. He told them that they were just afraid that it would work, and that other cities, even the state itself, may follow suit once everyone sees how much of a success it is. He also claimed that these gun supporters weren’t even residents of Poughkeepsie.
Councilman Joe Rich, D-2nd Ward, said he felt attacked at the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council meeting on June 15 by members from the Dutchess County chapter of the Shooter Committee On Political Education and supporters of the National Rifle Association, after SCOPE gave a presentation against the council’s proposed ordinance for mandatory storage of firearms. The proposal would require gun owners to lock up firearms in the City of Poughkeepsie.
“I didn’t mean to lose my temper, but felt it was abusive for them to come there in large numbers, wearing their shirts,” Rich said. “They were accusing us of taking their second amendment rights. I got upset, so I stood up — I don’t have to be intimidated by outside organizations like that.”
Dutchess County SCOPE First Chair Jacqueline Emslie and Chapter President Christopher Zaleski gave a presentation during the meeting. Emslie, who is a gun owner and resident of the City of Poughkeepsie, said other SCOPE members from the City of Poughkeepsie were in attendance.
“We came to give information and present to the council, so they can make an informed decision if it does come up for a vote,” she said. “My whole goal was to give the council a resident gun owners’ perspective. This will have a negative effect on gun owners.”
So, it’s not like the NRA had bussed in hundreds of people from around the country to protest the ordinance. These people were Dutchess County residents (where Poughkeepsie resides), and many of them were city residents. I wonder how he’d feel if non-Poughkeepsie residents from Everytown for Gun Safety came in “wearing their shirts.” Would he have been equally irate that they were “outsiders” who were only trying to push their agenda?