New York ‘Aggressively’ Crack Downs on ‘Gun Violence Epidemic’
A series of new laws will make it harder for Empire State residents to legally own guns.
On Friday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a package of legislation to combat the gun violence epidemic and to address the scourge of ghost guns in New York communities.
Gun violence is a public health and public safety crisis that must be dealt with aggressively. Working with partners at all levels, my administration will continue to crack down on the distribution and possession of dangerous weapons and put an end to the gun violence epidemic.
Legislation S.13A/A.2666A prohibits the possession and sale of unfinished frames or receivers by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith or dealer in firearms. Unfinished receivers are used to form the lower part of a firearm and can be easily combined with other pieces, even by someone with little experience, to make a fully functioning semi-automatic weapon. It also prohibits the possession and sale of unserialized finished frames and receivers by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith or dealer in firearms.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan stated:
"If you can't pass a background check to get a gun, then you shouldn't be able to get a gun--period. For too long, the unfinished receiver loophole let anyone get their hands on all the parts needed to build an untraceable, unregistered AR-15 without ever going through a background check, but today, we're taking historic action here in New York to close that dangerous loophole for good I'm proud to be the sponsor of the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act because I know it's going to save lives, just like Scott Beigel did when he gave his life to protect his students from gunfire during the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Legislation S.14A/A.613A prohibits the sale of ghost guns and requires gunsmiths and dealers in firearms to register and serialize firearms and unfinished frames or receivers they possess. Ghost guns are guns that are unregistered and do not have serial numbers, making them incredibly difficult for law enforcement to trace. These weapons often end up in the hands of purchasers with a criminal record or others who would not pass a required federal background check.
Assemblymember Charles Lavine said:
Amidst an epidemic of gun violence plaguing the United States, I commend my good friend Governor Kathy Hochul for supporting and signing this bill which I sponsored in the Assembly. It is incumbent upon the states to enact common-sense reforms that close dangerous loopholes that allow untraceable weapons to flood our communities. This new law further strengthens New York's existing gun safety laws, already among the toughest in the country. It also significantly increases protection to our community and our children by creating much more accountability. It is intended, just as Scott intended, to save lives.
Legislation S.7152/A.6522 adds firearms capable of being concealed and designed to resemble toys to the definition of a 'disguised gun' and prohibits their manufacture, design, or sale. Weapons capable of causing severe injury and death but that resemble toys are unjustifiably deceptive, and pose a clear threat to the safety of both children, who may mistake them for actual toys, and the public at large.
Legislation S.7152/A.6522 adds firearms designed to resemble toys to the definition of a 'disguised gun.'
Senator Brad Hoylman adds:
In the last three years, we've seen a 479% increase in ghost gun seizures across the state," said. "Thanks to the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act being signed today we're addressing this growing problem by banning the sale and possession of ghost guns, so nobody will be able to purchase these firearms without first passing a background check.
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal said:
Ghost guns have exploded in popularity as people have taken to the internet to evade New York's strong laws requiring background checks and licensing, to gain access to deadly weapons they can construct in the comfort and privacy of their own homes Closing the ghost gun loophole by signing the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act, along with the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receivers Act, will help to keep our communities safe.
Senator John Brooks said:
The gun violence epidemic has stolen the lives of so many in our state and country, and we have only seen the problem grow worse in recent years. Common sense measures like this legislation to crackdown on disguised guns are critical to protecting New Yorkers. No one should live in fear of gun violence, not when walking down the street, serving our communities in law enforcement, while learning at schools, spending time at home, or anywhere else. I am thankful to local law enforcement for the support they provided in getting this bipartisan bill passed and I applaud Governor Hochul for her continued effort to keep New Yorkers safe.
Assemblymember Steve Stern stated:
I am proud to sponsor this critically important legislation that will prohibit the design, manufacture and possession of disguised guns in New York State. These weapons put our law enforcement personnel at a dangerous disadvantage in situations when they are facing down the barrel of a gun and have a split second to decide if it is a toy or a real weapon, a split second that could make the difference between life or death. This legislation will protect our entire community and save lives. I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for their bi-partisan support of this legislation and applaud Governor Hochul's strong leadership on this important issue.
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