Albany, NY – State Senator Kevin Parker stood with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), New York’s leading statewide, grassroots gun violence prevention organization, at their 10th Annual Sensible Gun Legislation Day and called on theMajority leadership of the state Senate to join the effort to get illegal guns off the streets. The event highlighted two pieces of legislation aimed at curbing gun violence that have been passed in the Assembly but remain stalled in the Senate.
"Public safety should be a bipartisan issue," Senator Parker said. "The Assembly passed a bill in January that would protect the public from illegal guns by reining in irresponsible gun dealers who profit from putting deadly weapons in the hands of criminals. I do not understand how the Republican leaders of the Senate can – in good conscience – refuse to take such a common sense step."
Almost 60% of gun crimes originate with just 1% of gun dealers. Many legal guns make their way into the illegal market by way of straw purchasers – individuals who by guns legally and resell them to people who could not buy them legally, including children and convicted felons. Others are reported as lost or stolen, in some cases when gun dealers have actually sold them under the table to criminals.
The Gun Dealer Bill would require gun dealers to secure their guns to prevent them from being stolen; impose stringent inventory record keeping standards and mandate training for gun store employees on how to spot straw purchasers.
Senator Parker and NYAGV also called for the enactment of the Ballistic Technology Bill. This bill would make it easier for law enforcement to trace illegal guns and prosecute gun traffickers.
Roger Hayes, NYAGV Board Chair, said, "It is clear that we can significantly reduce the number of available gun crimes by mandating good conduct from gun dealers and using our ballistic evidence to efficiently focus the state’s efforts to apprehend gun traffickers."
Illegal guns have been the focus of much attention after the shooting deaths of several police officers in the New York City area. While legislation was passed to increase penalties for gun crimes, only the Assembly acted on legislation to prevent legal guns from reaching the illegal market.
"This is about protecting law enforcement, it’s about our young people, and it’s about families being destroyed by gun violence," said Senator Parker. "I am asking the Senate leadership to stop playing political games and let us do what we need to do to cut illegal guns off at the source."
Other elected officials who participated in the rally included Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Members Amy Paulin and David Koon.