A funny exchange recounted by Liz Benjamin:
Reporters covering Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference this morning on a new bill that would make it a crime to carry guns while drunk, were stunned when Sen. Jeff Klein, the bill’s sponsor, said it wouldn’t apply to firing ranges or hunting grounds, the DN’s Erin Einhorn reports.
The following exchange ensued:
(Josh Robin, NY1): “You can be drunk under this legislation in a firing range, with a gun?!
(Bloomberg): “Don’t go to a firing range.”
I can only imagine the faces of the reporters after that exchange. Turns out that the Mayor’s joke aside, it was all just a misunderstanding, and it is illegal to lock and load when you’re loaded, even when hunting or at the shooting range. Bloomberg’s press spokesman later explained:
“Under the bill there is, however, one common-sense difference in the way the law is applied at these places. Because brandishing and firing guns are common activities on hunting grounds and at firing ranges, they are not by themselves cause for suspicion and does not empower a police officer to administer a breathalyzer. By contrast, in places other than hunting grounds and firing ranges, brandishing a gun is by itself suspicious and can be cause to administer a breathalyzer.”
Then Liz recounts:
[Bloomberg’s spokesman] responded to a follow up to say that if a police officer happened upon a group of hunters near a pile of discarded beer cans and determined the hunters had a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater, he or she could, indeed, arrest them.
The idea of an officer approaching drunk people with guns and attempting to place them under arrest seems like a BAD TERRIBLE IDEA.