New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and top state lawmakers announced ten bills that have been introduced in both the Assembly and Senate that would tighten New York's gun laws following the mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas.
The bills would raise the minimum age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle to 21 years old from 18, prohibit the purchase of body armor for anyone not eligible (NY tried to ban it last year), require a license to buy a semiautomatic rifle, eliminate grandfathering of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (otherwise known as extended magazines), strengthen the Red Flag law, and require new pistols to include microstamping technology for tracing.
Gov. Hochul, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie announced the introduction of the ten new bills on Tuesday. The bills are expected to gain traction as the public outcry for lawmakers to do something increases after the recent mass shootings.
The legislative package includes:
A.1023-A (Paulin)/S.4970-A (Kavanagh)
Requires all state and local law enforcement agencies to report seized or recovered guns to the criminal gun clearinghouse; participate in ATFs collective data sharing program; test-fire seized or recovered guns for national integrated Ballistic Information Network; and, enter the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the gun into the national crime information center. Also requires gun dealers to implement a security plan for securing firearms, rifles and shotguns; prohibit persons under eighteen and not accompanied by a parent from the certain locations of a gun dealer's premises; provide training to all employees on the conduct of firearm, rifle, and shotgun transfers, including identification of and response to illegal purchases; adhere to record keeping requirements; and require the State police to conduct inspections of gun dealers every three years.
A.6716-A (Wallace)/S89-B (Kaminsky):
Creates the crimes of making a threat of mass harm and aggravated making a threat of mass harm.
A.7926-A (Rosenthal, L)/S.4116-A (Hoylman):
Requires DCJS to certify or decline to certify that microstamping-enabled pistols are technologically viable and if certified as viable, to establish programs and processes for the implementation of such technology; and, establishes the crime of the unlawful sale of a non-microstamping-enabled firearm
A7865-A (Fahy)/ S.4511-A (Kaplan):
Requires social media networks in New York to provide a clear and concise policy regarding how they would respond to incidents of hateful conduct on their platform and maintain easily accessible mechanisms for reporting hateful conduct on those platforms
A.10428-A (People-Stokes)/S.9229-A (Hoylman):
Eliminates the grandfathering of large capacity ammunition feeding devices that were lawfully possessed prior to the enactment of the Safe Act or manufactured prior to 1994.
A. 10497 (Jacobson)/S.9407-B (Kavanagh):
Makes unlawful the purchase and sale of body vests for anyone who is not engaged in an eligible profession. Eligible professions include law enforcement officers and other professions designated by the Department of State in consultation with other agencies. Also requires that any sale of a body vest be done in person.
A.10501 (Meeks)/S. 9465 (Bailey)
Creates a new Task Force on Social Media and Violent Extremism in the Attorney General's office to study and investigate the role of social media companies in promoting and facilitating violent extremism and domestic terrorism online.
A. 10502 (Cahill)/S. 9113-A (Skoufis):
Expands who may file an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) petition to include health care practitioners who have examined the individual within the last six months; requires police and district attorneys to file ERPO petitions upon credible information that an individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to himself, herself or others; requires the State Police and the Municipal Police Training Council to create and disseminate policies and procedures to identify when an ERPO petition may be warranted; amends the firearm licensing statute to make it clear that when an individual has been reported by a mental health practitioner and a county mental health commissioner has concurred with such practitioner that the individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to themself or others, such report is considered in determining whether or not to issue a firearm license to the individual; and, expands the mental health practitioners who can make such reports.
A10503 (Jackson)/S. 9458 (Thomas):
Requires that an individual obtain a license prior purchasing a semiautomatic rifle. This is prospective and applies to purchases made on and after the effective date.
A. 10504 (Burgos)/S. 9456 (Sepulveda)
Expands the definition of a "firearm" to include any weapon not defined in the Penal Law that is designed or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. This is intended to capture firearms that have been modified to be shot from an arm brace, which are evading our current definitions of firearms and rifles.
"Within the last month, two horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas have rattled this nation to our core and shed a new light on the urgent need for action to prevent future tragedies," the governor said.
"New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country but clearly we need to make them even stronger. New Yorkers deserve to feel safe in schools, in grocery stores, in movie theaters, in shopping malls, and on our streets -- and we must do everything in our power to protect them. Working closely with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and all of our partners in the legislature, we will strengthen our gun laws, help keep New Yorkers safe, give law enforcement the tools they need to prevent crime, and stop the spread of dangerous weapons. As New York once again leads, we continue to urge the federal government to seize this opportunity and pass meaningful national gun violence prevention laws," the governor continued.
"Just 10 days separated the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde that took the lives of 31 people. Nowhere else in the world is this happening. We are in desperate need of a conversation about guns, but we are also in desperate need of action." Speaker Carl Heastie said.
In a statement, chair of the New York State Republican Committee Nick Langworthy responded to the governor's push for even stricter gun laws, pointing out it doesn't even address America's mental health crisis:
"This package of bills does nothing to actually address the underlying mental health crisis at the center of the problem or invests in securing our schools. If Hochul and legislative leaders cared about shooting victims, they would vote today to repeal their disastrous bail laws that has turned our streets over to violent criminals."
New Yorkers who already own a semiautomatic rifle or body armor will be grandfathered in if the bills are passed. Other states would likely follow New York's move. Also, Democrats in Washington, D.C., are pushing bills to raise age limits to buy guns and ban high-capacity magazines.
Podcaster Joe Rogan warned last week that Democrats are coming for your guns and argued that criminals would be the only ones left with firearms.