Mayor Makes ‘Bump Stock’ Resolution

A former police officer, Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. conveyed his strong support for that legislation later in October. Durell Godfrey

The East Hampton Village Board declared its unanimous support for a resolution brought by the Suffolk County Village Officials Association regarding the sale of so-called “bump stocks” at its last meeting of the year on Friday. 

The gunman who killed 58 people and wounded almost 500 at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 is believed to have modified his weapons with devices that enabled them to fire bullets in rapid succession. The number of casualties notwithstanding, that mass shooting was one of many in 2017 and previous years. 

The village officials association, consisting of 33 villages, advised the State Legislature of its position that banning the sale of bump stocks would be in the best interests of the residents of its member villages and consistent with the mission of government to protect its citizenry from harm. The village board’s resolution supports that message. 

On Oct. 10, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. co-sponsored legislation that would outlaw a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed to or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle to approximate the operation of a machine gun. 

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. conveyed his strong support for that legislation later in October. A former police officer, he makes a point of calling for a moment of silence at the board’s meetings and work sessions that follow mass shootings. 

Friday’s meeting came five years and one day after a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children between 6 and 7 years old, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 

“I thank the board for this last resolution,” the mayor told his colleagues, “because we are in the time frame when we are suffering and remembering those lost at Sandy Hook five years ago. Sometimes, as the cliché says, it takes a village. We want to be at the forefront of trying to make a difference.”

On Monday, the mayor said, “I understand the Second Amendment, I understand the right to bear arms, but it has become so lopsided with respect to what’s out there as far as weaponry. . . . We, as members of the human race, have a moral obligation as to what’s happening on the national front.” Automatic weapons, he said, “don’t belong in the hands of John Q. Citizen.”

The village board also attended to routine business, such as approval of new members of the Fire Department and disposal of three impound vehicles.