Many call for change to state gun laws

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Colorado woman was arrested Wednesday for attempting to bring a handgun on a flight.

Haley Leach, 28, was arrested after she tried to declare a handgun before checking into her Southwest flight. Leach doesn’t possess a New York State pistol permit and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Many said her arrest is another case of tough, confusing gun laws putting the wrong people behind bars.

“It’s frustrating for people who don’t know the law,” Leslie McDermott said.

McDermott has been the general manager at the Indoor Range in Brunswick since last March. He said customers come in daily only to find out they’re potentially breaking the law.

Customers are coming from places like Vermont or Massachusetts where they legally own their guns and have concealed carry permits. That permit, however, does not carry over into New York State.

Many don’t realize it.

“Traveling through, see our sign, and stop in,” McDermott said. “They can’t shoot here because they don’t have a New York State pistol permit.”

Leach was in the Capital Region to visit family when she tried to leave on Wednesday. She was arrested for having a firearm despite it being legal in Colorado.

“We’re taking so many law abiding citizens and basically making them criminals,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

Apple said something needs to change.

“These are people that are professionals,” he said. “They are doctors, pilots, lawyers, cops, firemen, whatever the case may be, and then when they go to fly out they get arrested.”

He said it’s great the TSA is doing its job and that isn’t the issue. While other states have adopted the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows you to travel from one state to another without penalty, New York still has not.

Apple said arrests like Leach’s will continue until the state does.

“This is sad because it’s happening more and more,” he said.

Leach was released on $200 cash bail and must appear in court in February.

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