Senate Majority Takes Further Steps To Protect New Yorkers From Gun Violence

June 9, 2024

Today, the Senate Democratic Majority is passing legislation to strengthen gun safety measures and ensure deadly weapons stay out of the wrong hands.

The proposed legislation will provide funding for anti-violence education in schools, add reasonable restrictions to the open carry of long guns, establish a ten-day waiting period for firearm purchases, require reasonable controls on the manufacturing and sale of pistol converters, establish a voluntary waiver of the right to purchase firearms, hold firearm industry members accountable for unreasonable conduct, and expand the list of who can petition for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).

“… advancing responsible and effective firearm regulations …”

Currently, gun violence ranks as the number one cause of death among kids and teens in the United States. The New York Senate Majority is building on its strong record of gun safety by advancing responsible and effective firearm regulations to help end the tragic loss of life due to gun violence.

Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said, “Gun violence has gone beyond a critical point in our nation, turning everyday places into sites of unimaginable tragedy and cutting our children’s lives short. The measures we are taking today demonstrate our unwavering commitment to protecting our communities and ensuring that no parent, child, group or person has to live in fear of gun violence. By enacting these common-sense reforms, we are taking further significant steps towards creating a safer New York for all. I commend all the bill authors for their commitment to curbing gun violence and stopping needless tragedies.” 

“Making our communities safe starts with educating gun owners …”

Deputy Majority Leader Micheal Gianaris said, “Making our communities safe starts with educating gun owners and limiting accessibility to weapons of violence. I am proud we are taking serious steps to tackle this critical issue. We must keep our communities safe and prevent guns from taking more lives.”

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The legislation being passed by the Senate Majority includes: 

  • Anti-Violence Education Program: This bill, S4598A, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey would provide funding for school anti-violence education programs through the school violence prevention grant program.
  • Reasonable Restrictions On Long Gun Open Carry: This bill, S9137, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris, would regulate the open carry of rifles and shotguns with a number of exceptions in order to promote public safety and align with existing law in other states.
  • Firearm Waiting Period: This bill, S4818, sponsored by Senator Micheal Gianaris, would establish a 10 day waiting period for the purchase of any firearm.
  • Pistol Converter Rapid-Fire Modification Devices: This bill, S7365A, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, would require reasonable controls and procedures to be taken with respect to the sale, manufacturing, importing and marketing of pistol converters.
  • Voluntary Firearm Waiver: This bill, S2086A, sponsored by Senator Brian Kavanagh, would establish a voluntary waiver of the right to purchase firearms, rifles or shotguns and require the state police to enter such waivers into the national criminal background check system.
  • Firearm Public Health and Safety Dangers: This bill, S7392A, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, would ensure all firearm industry members are responsible for such member’s unreasonable conduct.
  • Firearms Dealers MCCs:This bill, S8479A, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, would require issuers of credit and debit cards to use certain merchant category codes for firearm merchants
  • Expanded ERPO Petitioners: This bill, S8589, sponsored by Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton, would amend the definition of “petitioner” under New York State’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) to include police agencies.

Bill sponsor Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “The level of gun violence is reaching the stage of crisis in the state of New York creating a serious threat to the health and quality of life for our young residents. My bill will provide funding to support school based anti-gun and anti-violence programs and will serve to support youth in areas that are disproportionately impacted by violence, specifically urban areas with the highest rates of poverty and unemployment. I commend the Majority Leader for bringing this package forward and putting our thoughts and prayers into action.” 

Bill sponsor Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Right now, for the same price as a large pepperoni pizza you can buy a device that transforms a regular pistol into a machine gun capable of firing 15 rounds in under two seconds. Gun makers like Glock know this option is available and they have done nothing about it, opening the door for criminals to quickly and easily create illegal automatic weapons, known as Glock switches, that threaten the safety of our communities. I’m grateful that Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues in the Senate are once again standing up to the gun lobby and gun manufacturers by passing a series of bills designed to reduce gun violence and make New York a safer place. The legislation I sponsor in the package(S.7365A) will require all gun manufacturers to take reasonable steps to design their products in a way that ensures they aren’t compatible with machine gun conversion devices. New York will not sit idly by just because gun manufacturers are indifferent that their pistols are being turned into automatic killing machines. We will act.”

“Allowing individuals to voluntarily waive their rights to obtain firearms …”

Bill sponsor Senator Brian Kavanagh said, “Once again, with this package of legislation, we are taking crucial steps to ensure that we have the strongest laws to protect New Yorkers from gun violence. My bill, S2086A, is a logical extension of the extreme risk protection orders legislation we enacted in 2019. Allowing individuals to voluntarily waive their rights to obtain firearms, rifles, and shotguns can have a tremendous impact in creating a safer place for New Yorkers who have concerns that they might be at risk of harming themselves or others. This bill has the potential to save lives and empower people with the tools to protect themselves. I thank Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly sponsor Amy Paulin, and our colleagues in the legislature for supporting this important legislation, and I look forward to continuing to work together to end the scourge of gun violence in our communities.”

Bill sponsor Senator Zellnor Myrie said, “”In the past few years, New York has become a national leader in using our laws to address gun violence. Today’s package of bills takes our efforts even further, and will continue our work to prevent dangerous firearms from causing violence in our communities. I’m extremely grateful to my Senate colleagues for advancing these measures, and to the advocates who have made it clear: inaction is not an option.”

Bill sponsor Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton said, “Since New York State’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation took effect in 2019, police officers have handled most ERPO filings, and as a result, faced difficulties with obtaining mortgages and making other financial decisions due to issues with the original law. Our officers put their lives on the line every day to keep New Yorkers safe, and for the past four years, they have been unfairly burdened in their personal lives for simply doing their job and keeping guns off our streets. This legislation not only supports our dedicated law enforcement officers but also strengthens our commitment to gun safety in a way that protects all New Yorkers”

“We clearly need to do more to keep young people safe …”

Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said, “Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children under 18 in the state of New York. We clearly need to do more to keep young people safe and to provide schools trauma-informed resources and initiatives that will prevent gun violence. This package of bills will drive violence down, help keep guns out of our communities and those in crisis, and support young people to grow into the leaders we so urgently need.  We applaud the Senate Majority for once again championing life-saving policies and passing this package to keep our communities and children safe.” 

Emma Brown, Executive Director, GIFFORDS said, “New York has long been a leader in the fight against gun violence, and Senate leaders are once again proving their dedication to saving lives by passing this critical package of gun safety laws. From banning open carry, addressing the dangers devices that illegally modify Glocks to fire automatically, and enacting a common-sense waiting period on firearms purchases, we know that these measures will prevent violence. We applaud the New York Senate Democrats for their leadership.”

Allison Dzikowski, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action said, “New York already has the second-strongest gun safety laws in the nation and, as a result, one of the lowest rates of gun violence. We’re grateful to our gun sense champions in the Senate for passing these measures today that will make our communities even safer. The tragic reality of our gun violence crisis is that it demands our lawmakers continue enacting innovative measures to address new and evolving dangers – and we’re grateful that our lawmakers have been proactive in doing so. From prohibiting the open carry of rifles and shotguns in our communities to increasing anti-violence programs for our kids, to further holding bad actors in the gun industry accountable for endangering our communities, these measures address many aspects of our gun violence crisis. We urge our Assembly lawmakers to support these measures so that they can become law before the end of this year.” 

Photo credit: Artwork. Wiki.

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One Comment

  1. Continuing to infringe on the 2nd ammendment is most egregious. Why won’t democrats provide data that legal gun owners are the main drivers of gun violence? They sure treat them as such. Yet no data to back up their unconstitutional gun laws.

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