Bill makes carrying gun illegal while drunk

 


By JUDY L. RANDALL

ADVANCE STAFF WRITER

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A bill that would make it illegal in New York to carry a gun while drunk has been introduced in the state Senate.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for such a state law during his re-election campaign last year.


At a press conference yesterday to announce the measure, introduced by state Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx), Bloomberg said: "If you are too intoxicated to drive a car, you should not be carrying a gun. The law should apply the same standards and tests that are now used to prevent and punish driving while intoxicated."


Klein called "guns and alcohol ... a deadly mix."


State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) noted that 20 states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, have such a law. She said it is "surprising" such a law isn't more prevalent. Ms. Savino said there "has been a huge increase in the number of disturbances in bars where guns are involved."


"Someone who has been drinking does not always exercise the best judgment," she said. "It is a fatality waiting to happen."


Ms. Savino noted the bill does not apply to people who have guns in their own homes, or to shooting ranges or hunting lodges.


The bill would make it a class-A misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail and a $10,000 fine, to carry a gun while under the influence of alcohol. Under state law, a person is intoxicated if his blood alcohol is more than .08 percent.


Judy L. Randall is a news reporter for the Advance. She may be reached at randall@siadvance.com.