Campus Safety informs students on gun safety practices, laws

Stacey Franciamore, Managing Editor

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Iona College Director of Campus Safety Adrian Navarette gave a beginner’s guide to guns and gun safety at the event, “Gun Talk: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask,” as part of Week of the Peacemaker on Nov. 5.

Navarette has been a member of the Iona community since he graduated in 1997. After joining the New Rochelle Police Department in 1998, Navarette held various notable roles. He served as a patrol officer, was promoted to the rank of sergeant where he also held the role of patrol supervisor and was then named lieutenant. In 2015 he served as the NRPD captain. He also has numerous gun-related certifications.

“I was a New Rochelle cop,” Navarette said. “I was there the last 20 years and I’ve been involved with firearms extensively.”

Navarette spoke about basic knowledge of guns including types of bullets, firearm types, barrel types and current gun legislation. He also provided information on fundamental gun safety. The goal of the presentation was to ensure the audience had basic preparation in case they ever come across a gun.

“You can take a loaded gun and leave it on a windowsill and it will never hurt anybody ever in a thousand years,” Navarette said. “It’s when people touch them that it becomes a problem.”

Navarette also provided demilitarized training guns for the audience to learn how a gun works and get into the habit of practicing basic gun safety.

“Treat every firearm as if it is loaded,” Navarette said. “Never point it at anything you’re not willing to destroy. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Look behind you in case you miss.”

According to Navarette, the first step in learning how a gun works is learning about the bullet which has several parts to it. When a gun’s trigger is pulled, a spring ignites an explosive charge in the primer. The primer then burns the propellant and releases the bullet.

Navarette also introduced various types of weapons, including a semi-automatic handgun and a revolver.

“What separates a handgun from a revolver is that it automatically will load the next round,” Navarette said.

Navarette touched upon the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting in which a shooter open fired on a crowd at a concert. Navarette explained that the Las Vegas shooter used a bump stock.

“There’s a thing called bump stock, and the theory is that the recoil itself can work the trigger a lot faster than you can,” Navarette said. “When you attach this to a semi-automatic rifle, it takes the recoil coming backwards and allows the entire gun to move back and forth very quickly. It’s not very accurate, but if you’re trying to let out a lot of rounds in little time it’s very effective.”

Navarette discussed current gun legislation and paid particular attention to the Safe Act, a law passed in New York that includes various firearms regulations. One of the regulations is the removal of certain parts from firearms.

“One of the arguments for people who are against gun control is that you ban a gun based on its looks, and there’s some truth to that,” Navarette said. “So this is the gun before, which now is illegal. So they modified it and took away a lot of the features … It’s the same gun but now it’s New York state compliant.”

The Safe Act also addresses firearm sales and ensures that anyone who wants to sell and purchase a gun must go through a licensed dealer.

“If you’re a licensed dealer they can’t sell you a gun without a background check,” Navarette said. “But if I walk in and have my own shotgun I want to get rid of, I can just put up a for sale sign, walk around and make a private sale. With a private sale there is no background check. You just do an exchange.”

Navarette explained the differences between New York state gun legislation and gun legislation in other states, such as Texas.

“You could actually go to class and have the guy sitting next to you carrying a gun and it’s perfectly acceptable,” Navarette said. “Some states are very pro-gun, but New York is not one of them.”

According to Navarette, somebody has to be 18 years old to purchase a firearm as far as long guns. The age for handguns is 21.

Sporting goods companies such as Dick’s Sporting Goods have raised the purchasing age for all firearms to 21.

“I think that’s where it’s headed,” Navarette said, “Especially in New York.”