The Putnam Examiner

Use of Force Regulations Discussed in Carmel

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The top two law enforcement officials in Putnam County, Sheriff Don Smith and District Attorney Robert Tendy, spoke at last week’s forum.

Legal justifications for the use of force was discussed by several Putnam County elected officials during a meeting sponsored by the Putnam County Firearms Owners Association held at the Paladin Center in Carmel on Oct. 18.

The discussion centered around Article 35 of the New York Penal Law on “Defense of Justification.” Failure to follow the law would make a person subject prosecution the standing room only crowd was told last week.

District Attorney Robert Tendy said there are several state regulations regarding the use of force. “You can’t shoot somebody unless your life is about to be taken,” Tendy said.

Justification for the use of force is a threat that “has to be imminent,” Tendy said. Article 35 states deadly physical force can be used when “your life is in danger,” Tendy said.

Use of force is allowed in the state when a burglary is in progress in a person’s home, Tendy said.

There are several allowances for the use of force in Article 35 including by a jail warden or prison personnel to maintain order; to prevent someone from committing suicide or by a doctor or someone acting under a doctor’s direction to provide necessary treatment for the physical or mental health of a patient.

Putnam County Sherriff Donald Smith said the Second Amendment needed to be upheld.

“Firearms don’t make us less safe,” Smith said.

Putnam County has the lowest crime rate in the state with many of its residents owning guns, he said.

Former state Assemblyman Robert Castell, who worked for the State Police for 21 years before retiring, was among the speakers who criticized the SAFE Act gun control law as being too restrictive. The Second Amendment is under siege, Castelli claimed.

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