senate Bill S575

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for universal background checks for the sale of firearms

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to consumer protection
Jan 09, 2013 referred to consumer protection

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S575 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 38-B §§830 - 834, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S7836

S575 - Bill Texts

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Provides for universal background checks for the sale of firearms; makes the violation of such provisions a class A misdemeanor.

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BILL NUMBER:S575

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to universal background
checks for sales of firearms

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this act is to require all firearm sales to be
conducted through a licensed firearms dealer, so that all legal
requirements axe met, including a background check on the prospective
purchaser and the creation of a record. This act will help protect
public safety by preventing gun deaths and injuries.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill adds a new Article 38-B to the General Business
Law in relation to universal background checks for sales of firearms.

* Section 830 provides the short title.

* Section 831 defines certain terms.

* Section 832 requires anyone selling or transferring a firearm to
process the transfer through a federally licensed firearms dealer,
who must conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser and
maintain a record of the sale.

* Section 833 provides exemptions to the article.

* Section 834 provides that a violation of the article shall be a class
A misdemeanor. Every conviction of a violation of this article by a
dealer in firearms shall be reported by the sentencing court to the
Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Section 2 provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Federal law requires anyone engaged in the business of selling
firearms to obtain a federal firearms license. These licensed dealers
are required to conduct background checks on a prospective gun
purchaser before transferring the firearm. Firearm dealers are not
the only individuals who can transfer guns, however. Due to a huge
loophole in federal law, the private sale loophole, unlicensed
sellers are not legally required to conduct a background check or
document transaction information prior to transferring a firearm.
This loophole accounts for up to 40% of all gun sales nationwide.
Because of this loophole, criminals and other prohibited persons can
easily buy guns throughout most of the country.

Background checks are a proven method to keep guns out of the hands of
prohibited persons. Since the federal background check requirement
was adopted in 1994, nearly 1,800,000 prohibited persons have been
denied a firearm transfer or permit. In 2009 alone, 76,648 gun
transfers were denied using the federal background check system.
Implementing universal background checks would reduce illegal
trafficking and treat all transfers equally, whether the purchaser is
buying from a licensed gun shop, at a gun show or


from a neighbor. Universal background checks would help ensure that
persons buying guns are legally eligible to do so.

In addition to the requirement of a background check, federally
licensed firearms dealers must also record information about each
sale or transfer of a firearm. The information that is recorded helps
law enforcement track the owners of guns recovered in crimes, and
remove guns from the hands of people who have been convicted of a
crime or otherwise become ineligible to possess them.

Americans overwhelmingly support background checks fox all prospective
gun purchasers; (a) nationwide poll conducted in early 2008 found
that 87% of Americans, including 83% of gun owners, favor requiring
everyone who sells guns to conduct criminal background checks on
prospective purchasers; (b) a poll conducted in November, 2008 found
that 83% of voters, including 84% Percent of gun owners, favor
background checks for all sales, and (c) a national survey conducted
for Mayors Against Illegal Guns in January, 2007 found that 92% of
Americans, including 91% of gun owners, favor mandatory criminal
background checks for all people purchasing guns.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2012: Senate Bill
7839 (Gianaris) - Died in Senate Rules Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
The sixtieth day after it shall have become law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   575

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. GIANARIS, ADAMS, ADDABBO, BRESLIN, HASSELL-THOMPSON,
  KRUEGER,  MONTGOMERY, PERKINS, RIVERA, SERRANO, STAVISKY -- read twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to universal back-
  ground checks for sales of firearms

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new article
38-B to read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 38-B
            UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR SALE OF FIREARMS
SECTION 830. SHORT TITLE.
        831. DEFINITIONS.
        832. ALL SALES THROUGH A DEALER IN FIREARMS.
        833. EXEMPTIONS.
        834. PENALTIES.
  S  830.  SHORT  TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS
THE "UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR SALE OF FIREARMS ACT".
  S 831. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE:
  1. "DEALER IN FIREARMS" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS THAT TERM  IS  DEFINED
IN SUBDIVISION NINE OF SECTION 265.00 OF THE PENAL LAW.
  2.  "FIREARM" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI-
SION THREE OF SECTION 265.00 OF THE PENAL LAW.
  3. "LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY" MEANS ANY AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL  OR  STATE
GOVERNMENT,  OR  OF  A  MUNICIPALITY  OR  PUBLIC AUTHORITY WHICH EMPLOYS
POLICE OFFICERS.
  S 832. ALL SALES THROUGH A DEALER IN FIREARMS. NO PERSON  SHALL  SELL,
LEASE, TRANSFER OR LOAN A FIREARM UNLESS:
  1. SUCH PERSON IS A DEALER IN FIREARMS;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01833-01-3

S. 575                              2

  2.  THE  PURCHASER,  LESSEE,  TRANSFEREE  OR  PERSON  BEING LOANED THE
FIREARM IS A DEALER IN FIREARMS; OR
  3. WHERE NEITHER SUCH PERSON, NOR THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR
PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM IS A DEALER IN FIREARMS, THE TRANSACTION
SHALL BE COMPLETED THROUGH A DEALER IN FIREARMS AS FOLLOWS:
  (A)  THE  SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR THE PERSON LOANING THE FIREARM
SHALL DELIVER THE FIREARM TO THE DEALER IN FIREARMS,  WHO  SHALL  RETAIN
POSSESSION  OF  THAT  FIREARM UNTIL ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SALE,
LEASE, TRANSFER OR LOAN HAVE BEEN MET;
  (B) THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL PROCESS THE SALE, LEASE, TRANSFER  OR
LOAN  AS  IF  HE OR SHE WERE THE SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR LENDER OF
THE FIREARM. THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL COMPLY WITH  ALL  REQUIREMENTS
OF  FEDERAL,  STATE AND LOCAL LAW THAT WOULD APPLY IF HE OR SHE WERE THE
SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR LENDER OF THE FIREARM;
  (C) THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL CONDUCT A  BACKGROUND  CHECK  ON  THE
PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR THE PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM, IN
ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTION  922(T) OF TITLE 18 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE,
AND STATE AND LOCAL LAW, AND, IF  THE  TRANSACTION  IS  NOT  PROHIBITED,
DELIVER THE FIREARM TO THAT PERSON AFTER ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS ARE MET;
  (D)  IF  THE  DEALER IN FIREARMS CANNOT LEGALLY DELIVER THE FIREARM TO
THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR THE PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM
THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL CONDUCT A BACKGROUND CHECK ON  THE  SELLER,
LESSOR,  TRANSFEROR OR THE PERSON LOANING THE FIREARM IN ACCORDANCE WITH
SECTION 922(T) OF TITLE 18 OF THE UNITED  STATES  CODE,  AND  STATE  AND
LOCAL  LAW, AND, IF THE RETURN TRANSACTION IS NOT PROHIBITED, RETURN THE
FIREARM TO THAT PERSON;
  (E) IF THE DEALER IN FIREARMS CANNOT LEGALLY RETURN THE FIREARM TO THE
SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR THE PERSON LOANING THE FIREARM,  THEN  THE
DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL DELIVER THE FIREARM TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
HAVING JURISDICTION OVER SUCH DEALER WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS; AND
  (F)  THE  PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR THE PERSON BEING LOANED THE
FIREARM MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE DEALER IN FIREARMS TO PAY A FEE  COVERING
THE  ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS INCURRED BY THE DEALER IN FIREARMS FOR FACILI-
TATING THE TRANSFER OF THE FIREARM, PLUS  APPLICABLE  FEES  PURSUANT  TO
FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAW.
  S  833. EXEMPTIONS. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO
OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT APPLY TO:
  1. THE ACTIVITIES OF:
  (A) LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CORRECTIONS SERVICES AGENCIES;
  (B) THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS, MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF  UNITED
STATES  OR  THE  ORGANIZED  MILITIA OF THE STATE, OR FEDERAL OFFICERS OR
EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO POSSESS FIREARMS WHILE ENGAGED IN  THEIR  OFFICIAL
DUTIES; AND
  (C)  PERSONS WHO ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE THIRTY-NINE-
DD OF THIS CHAPTER; OR
  2. THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES, UNLESS THE  LAWFUL  OWNER  OF  A  FIREARM
KNOWS  OR HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL LAW PROHIB-
ITS A TRANSFEREE FROM PURCHASING OR POSSESSING A FIREARM,  OR  THAT  THE
TRANSFEREE IS LIKELY TO USE THAT FIREARM FOR UNLAWFUL PURPOSES:
  (A)  THE DELIVERY OF A FIREARM TO A GUNSMITH FOR SERVICE OR REPAIR, OR
THE RETURN OF THE FIREARM TO ITS OWNER BY THE GUNSMITH;
  (B) THE TRANSFER OF A FIREARM TO A  CARRIER,  WAREHOUSEMAN  AND  OTHER
PERSON  ENGAGED  IN  THE  BUSINESS  OF TRANSPORTATION OR STORAGE, TO THE
EXTENT THAT THE POSSESSION, RECEIPT OR HAVING ON OR ABOUT THE PERSON  OF
ANY FIREARM IS IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF BUSINESS AND IN CONFORMITY WITH

S. 575                              3

FEDERAL,  STATE AND LOCAL LAWS, BUT NOT FOR THE PERSONAL USE OF ANY SUCH
PERSON;
  (C)  THE  LOAN  OF  A  FIREARM  SOLELY  FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHOOTING AT
TARGETS, IF THE LOAN OCCURS ON THE PREMISES OF A TARGET FACILITY, IF THE
FIREARM IS AT ALL TIMES KEPT WITHIN THE PREMISES OF THE TARGET RANGE;
  (D) THE LOAN OF A FIREARM TO A PERSON WHO IS UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF
AGE FOR LAWFUL HUNTING, SPORTING OR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES WHILE UNDER THE
DIRECT SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF A RESPONSIBLE ADULT; OR
  (E) THE LOAN OF A FIREARM TO A PERSON WHO IS TWENTY-ONE YEARS  OF  AGE
OR OLDER, SO LONG AS THE FIREARM REMAINS IN THE PERSON'S POSSESSION ONLY
WHILE  THE PERSON IS ACCOMPANYING THE LAWFUL OWNER AND USING THE FIREARM
FOR LAWFUL  HUNTING, SPORTING OR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES.
  S 834. PENALTIES. 1. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY OF THE PROVISIONS  OF
THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.
  2.  EVERY  CONVICTION  OF  A  VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE BY A DEALER IN
FIREARMS SHALL BE REPORTED BY THE SENTENCING COURT TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU
OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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