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Senate passes Gallivan's terror registry bill, fate uncertain in Assembly

WBFO file photo

With the State Legislature set to end its session on Thursday, State Senator Patrick Gallivan is hoping his proposed terrorist registry bill - which was passed by his peers - will come up for a vote in the Assembly.

Gallivan explained to WBFO that his proposed terrorist registry would work like the one for sex offenders. Those convicted of a terrorist-related crime living in New York would be required to sign up for this registry.

The State Senator, a former Erie County Sheriff and New York State Police Captain, readily acknowledged that his registry would not suddenly curb would-be terrorist activity. Rather, he told WBFO, the purpose is to give communities information about those who live or move into their neighborhood who might be worth watching more closely.

"I think what we're doing more is arming our citizens with information for people that have been known to engage in terrorist-type activity, that may be out of jail and no longer incarcerated," Gallivan said. "People might have an awareness of who and what may be moving into their communities."

While he did not have data readily available as to the number of people who would qualify for this registry, the senator pointed out examples including the "Lackawanna Six" and others from the Buffalo area who were charged and convicted with counts related to correspondence with known terrorist groups. 

The bill passed the Senate last year but died in the Assembly. Gallivan said minor tweaks have been made to the bill this year. He is encouraged that a member of the Assembly majority is backing the bill in that house, but he remained unsure if that would be enough to bring a vote to the Assembly floor.

"If we as a state want to get serious about preventing terrorism, I would hope that the Assembly does take this up," Gallivan said. "But I can't predict whether they will or not."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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