Law Shield has former prosecutors among our program lawyers, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that district attorneys have to deal with the worst of the worst in their prosecutions — as we all know, many dangerous, unstable people get tried for crimes. And it’s part of the job that DAs routinely receive threats for doing their jobs.
So we were open-mouthed when we saw Prof. Eugene Volokh’s commentary that the Nassau County (New York) District Attorney’s Office bars prosecutors from having handguns, even at home.
Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas enforces the policy of mandatory disarmament among her attorneys. In the “Assistant District Attorney Application Information & Instruction Form” posted by the county, “[A]ssistant district attorneys are not permitted to apply for a handgun permit nor own or possess a handgun while employed by the Nassau County District Attorney. Any exception to this policy must be in writing and approved by the District Attorney.”
Volokh asked the Nassau County’s DA office about the reasons for the policy, and the response was: “Our practice of asking prosecutors to not possess handguns is to ensure the safety and comfort of staff, victims, and witnesses, and is consistent with other district attorney’s offices in the New York City metropolitan area.”
Except, they’re not “asking” their employees to follow a suggested practice — the handgun ban is a mandatory condition of employment. The “Assistant District Attorney Application Information & Instruction Form” requires the applicant to acknowledge: “I understand that assistant district attorneys are not permitted to apply for a handgun permit nor own or possess a handgun while employed by the Nassau County District Attorney.”
In our view, DA Singas’ policy shows bad judgment in its disregard for the rights and safety of others in law enforcement. Not to mention their families.
Do you know of any other employers that prohibit gun ownership by their employees? If so, drop us a line.