State Senators Take Aim To Tighten Gun Control

Jose Peralta

August 20, 2012

As reported by WPIX: 

Senator Gianaris' proposals said among his measures is "One that would restrict gun purchases to one per month because right now the big problem with people is that they will bulk purchase guns and turn them around and sell them illegally," he said, adding, "Sales on the secondary market don't require background checks."  Other measures call for dealers to report all firearm and ammunition sales within 24 hours to the State Division of Criminal Justice, where records would be kept on file for at least a decade.  Another bill would mandate a 10-day waiting period for all gun purchases.  Senator Gianaris is also calling for limiting sales of ammo to permitted dealers, and he wants all gun buyers to be required to take a safety course.

  Senator Peralta is calling for passage of what he calls a "common-sense bill" to take firearms away from the mentally ill.  That measure has passed the State Assembly four times with bipartisan support,  but has failed to even be considered by the Republican controlled Senate.  "We're talking about bills that are common-sense," he said. "We want to make sure that people that are found mentally ill, violently mentally ill, that a judge would take a gun out of the hands of those individuals. Even the NRA is on record not against that."

       Senator Peralta also feels there should be a renewal of gun permits every five years."It should be the same as renewing a drivers license," he said. Among the ten measures being proposed by Gianaris, Peralta and two Senate colleagues is one that is being supported by Mayor Bloomberg.  It calls for the micro-stamping of all shell casings they feel would be a valuable tool for police in tracking the owners of guns used in criminal acts.

       Both Senators were critical of the NRA  for exerting its influence on state lawmakers with campaign cash.  In recent years the gun lobby has shelled out $217,000 to New York lawmakers.

Senator Gianaris observed, "You would assume their influence would be in the South or Far West. But here in New York, their top-spending state, and Republicans are the top recipients of support.  It's a big part of the hurdle we have to overcome, but ultimately it's the people in a democracy who will make the decision as they see fit,"  he asserted.  The entire state legislature is up for election in November.

       Senator Peralta is calling for a special session before then to consider enacting tough new guns laws. "We're going to continue to call for a special session until we get gun legislation passed that will save lives," he declared.  "This is a matter of life or death."

      You can see the entire interview with Senators Gianaris and Peralta on "PIX11 News Closeup."  Also on the program is Michael Armstrong, who was the chief counsel for the Knapp Commission that uncovered widespread corruption in the NYPD 40 years ago this month.  He reflects on that time and talks about his new book.

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