Late last night (Monday, Jan. 14) the New York State Senate past a tougher assault weapons ban that is aimed to reduce gun violence in the state, by a vote of 43-18. The three Senators of the NY23rd (Sen Michael Nizzolio, Rep. Tom O’Mara and Sen. Chatherine Young) voted against the new law.
Today (Tuesday), the Assembly approved the bill 104-43.
The bill will:
- change the definition of an assault weapon to include weapons
- reduce the number of bullets in a magazine to 7.
- ban the selling of assault weapons on the internet
- Private sales (besides immediate family members) would require a background check
- to develop a mandatory police registry of assault weapons
- presently owned assault weapons will be ‘grandfathered’
- mental health professionals would be required to report potentially dangerous patients seeking a gun
- require a life sentence in prison for anyone who kills a first responder
- stores that sell ammunition needs to register with the state
- background checks on buyer of bullets
- an electronic database of bullet sale
- it is now a felony for carrying a firearm on school grounds
- allows pistol-permit holders to request that their personal information be guarded from open-records requests (requests are not guaranteed).
There has been the expected mixed reaction to this bill. During the Assembly debate many complained about the “method” the law got to the floor–it was created in a back room–the Assembly members only had the actual bill a few hours before they started to debate it. Many were asking questions—good questions–about different sections of the bill–which seemed to contradict other parts of it. One assemblyman reminded his peers that any county law needs a public hearing with 10-day notice.
There is also the politics. Former Republican Sen. Michael Balboni said that for legislators from the more conservative upstate region of New York, gun control “has the intensity of the gay marriage issue.” In 2011, three of four Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for same-sex marriage ended up losing their jobs because of their votes. There were also talk that Governor Cuomo is using this law to start his 2016 presidential campaign.
Of course, the NRA came out against the SAFE ACT. “These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime. Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality. While lawmakers could have taken a step toward strengthening mental health reporting and focusing on criminals, they opted for trampling the rights of law-abiding gun owners in New York, and they did it under a veil of secrecy in the dark of night.”
Our Congressman, Rep. Tom Reed doesn’t agree with the State’s new law. “I don’t agree with the governor in regard to where he’s going, in regard to the banning of certain weapons and certain ammunition clips,” Reed, R-Corning, said during a call with reporters Monday. “I think that’s a path that goes down that slippery slope that I’m concerned about — in restricting our freedoms.”
Reed has received $1,000 in annual contributions from the National Rifle Association since he was first elected to Congress in 2010. Reed holds an “A” rating from the NRA, and he was endorsed by the organization.
- READ: What Are the Details of New York’s Proposed Gun Control Legislation? (foxnewsinsider.com)
- NY gun bill would toughen already tough law (sfgate.com)