03/05/14 6:01pm
03/05/2014 6:01 PM
(Credit: Facebook Screen Shot)

(Credit: Facebook Screen Shot)

Social networking giant Facebook has vowed to help put a stop to illegal gun sales initiating on its social media sites, officials announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Facebook, which also owns the picture sharing platform Instagram, has agreed to remove posts by users who are trying to skirt gun laws and sell firearms illegally, said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management.  (more…)

09/15/13 5:09pm
09/15/2013 5:09 PM

SoutholdPD Sign - Summer - 600

A Laurel man was arrested Sunday for shooting an air rifle at another man, striking him in the face and causing a “large laceration,” Southold Town Police said.

Brayan Cahueque, 23, fired the shot at a man police described as “a 23-year-old Hispanic male,” during an altercation about 4 a.m. at 1345 Main Road in Laurel, police said.

Mr. Cahueque was arrested and charged with second degree assault. He is being held at Southold Police Headquarters until his arraignment Monday morning in Southold Town Justice Court.

Police said they are holding the weapon as evidence.

The victim was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of his injury, police said.

08/13/13 12:00pm
08/13/2013 12:00 PM

SoutholdPD Sign - Summer - 500

A 72-year-old Greenport woman accidentally shot herself in the hand Saturday while emptying a pistol, according to a Southold Town police report.

The woman, who was not charged in the incident, told police she was attempting to unload a .38 Smith & Wesson pistol registered to her late spouse when a bullet discharged and struck her hand around noon, according to a police report.

She told police she’s in the process of changing the gun’s registration into her own name, drove herself to Eastern Long Island Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries. Police emptied the gun and are holding it at headquarters in Peconic, according to the report.

When reached by telephone Tuesday morning, the woman said she was “fine.”

03/19/13 10:22pm

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Southold police are investigating the second armed robbery of a Chinese food restaurant in town this week.

For the second time this week, employees of a Chinese food restaurant in Southold Town have been robbed by a lone masked gunman, town police said.

Southold Police detectives are investigating a Tuesday night robbery at Cai Hong restaurant on Route 48 in Southold, where a masked man armed with a black handgun entered around 9 p.m., demanding cash from the register. He walked away with about $500, police said.

The suspect was dressed in all black, wearing a hooded sweat shirt, and he took off in an easterly direction, police said.

A detective said that due to a language barrier with employees of the restaurant, an interpreter was needed to aid in the investigation.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday night,  a lone masked gunman robbed New China Restaurant on Front Street in Greenport and took off with $400 cash. Police said they couldn’t yet confirm if the two crimes were connected.

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03/18/13 12:10am
03/18/2013 12:10 AM

A masked man armed with a handgun robbed a Chinese restaurant on Front Street in Greenport Sunday night, Southold Town Police said.

The man, who was wearing all black, entered the store shortly after 8:30 p.m. After displaying a black handgun, he stole approximately $400 and took off in an unknown direction, police said.

No other details were immediately available, police said.

02/02/13 2:00pm
02/02/2013 2:00 PM
A Bushmaster M-4 semi-automatic, similar to the one allegedly used in the Newtown school shootings last week.

A Bushmaster M-4 semi-automatic, similar to the one allegedly used in the Newtown school shootings.

So I have this old, rusty, single-shot, 20-gauge shotgun sitting in the corner of our bedroom, awaiting its fate.

What to do with it? Leave it where it lies, indefinitely? Attempt to melt it down in the burn barrel out back by the garage? (No, that would be against all sorts of laws, including those of nature.) Sell it through this newspaper’s classified ads? (No, can’t do that because the paper no longer accepts such ads, even for “antique” guns.) Or perhaps eBay? (No, “actual firearms” can’t be listed for sale there either.)

What to do with it? Hey, I have an idea: Why not encourage local police departments to implement gun buyback programs similar to those that have been so successful around the nation, particularly in the aftermath of the Newtown school massacre.

This is basically how they work: Police departments set a place and time where and when guns of any sort — from single-shot derringers small enough to fit into the palm of your hand to the sort of multi-round assault rifle used to mow down elementary school children in Connecticut — are turned in voluntarily, with no questions asked. Those turning in the guns are compensated — sometimes with cash, but more often with gift cards that can’t be used to buy another gun — and the unwanted guns are properly disposed of by the cops.

I very much doubt that buyback programs here would generate the quantity of guns produced in big city programs, if only because our populations are so much smaller by comparison. But any gun taken off the street is a gun that won’t figure in an accident or an act of violence, such as the tragic shooting in Flanders this weekend, and that’s a very good thing.

Skeptics routinely disparage them as “feel good” programs that do little to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the criminally insane, but that’s not the only objective. As The Trenton (N.J.) Times editorialized after that city’s recent gun buyback program: “They represent an opportunity to safely dispose of old and malfunctioning firearms that could mean death in the hands of a child. We regulate the disposal of appliances, of paint, of outdated medication lest they spill destructive chemicals. It’s logical to be as conscientious about the clearing away of potentially deadly instruments.”

This week I have surveyed the chiefs of police in Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island, asking them if they would support such a program in their towns, and I will let readers of this column know their responses as soon as I receive them. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department used to buy back guns, but that program was discontinued when the grant money dried up, according to the department’s public information office.

And time is wasting, as they say, with recent reports in this newspaper about unprecedented sales of guns and ammunition in the wake of the passage of New York State’s tough new Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

Meanwhile, a reader of my December column on gun control has pledged $1,000 to help implement such a program in Southold Town. And depending on the response we receive from the police chiefs, the former Joan Giger Walker and I will pledge another $1,000.

I wonder how many other community members would be willing to make small pledges to get the guns off our streets.

And if you’re wavering on this question, please take to heart these words of ex-New York City policeman Howard Martin of Manorville, as quoted in this newspaper last week: “Behind every tree, every window, every door there is a gun. It is the one thing that keeps America free.”

And bloody.