WASHINGTON — Reps. Chris L. Jacobs and Elise M. Stefanik are working together on a bill that would allow people to keep their guns in the event of a bankruptcy.
The Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act, introduced by Rep. Jacobs, R-Orchard Park, on Monday, would allow anyone undergoing bankruptcy proceedings to keep up to $3,000 worth of firearms out of their bankruptcy estate.
By exempting those firearms from the estate, they cannot be sold by the trustee appointed by the court to sell the bankrupt person’s possessions in order to clear debts.
The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville and 16 other Republican members of Congress, including Reps. Claudia M. Tenney, R-Utica and Andrew R. Garbarino, R-Sayville.
“An American’s right to protect themselves and their family is not conditioned on their financial standing,” Rep. Jacobs said in a statement. “People fall on hard times, but their fundamental rights afforded under the Second Amendment are ensured by our Constitution and must be protected.”
The Buffalo-area congressman, who has long had ties to Erie County and Western New York, is running for reelection to New York’s 24th Congressional District, which stretches along the Lake Ontario shoreline from Niagara Falls to Alexandria Bay.
This is the fourth bill introduced by Rep. Jacobs in Congress this year, all but one of which was originally co-sponsored by longtime north country Congresswoman Stefanik. She now represents the western portion of Jefferson County in NY-21, a section redistricted to be part of NY-24.
In a statement on the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act, Rep. Stefanik said she is proud to work with Rep. Jacobs to keep guns in the hands of their purchasers, even in the event of bankruptcy.
“The government should not be allowed to take advantage of lawful gunowners who have declared bankruptcy,” she said.