Explainer: What Good Is It to be the Toughest State on Gun Control?

Michael Gianaris

August 09, 2012

WNYC wrote about the six bills introduced by Senator Gianaris who is spearheading the movement to help reduce gun violence in our city.

A New York State Senator plans to introduce six new pieces of gun control legislation this week, which if passed would make New York the state with the toughest gun laws in the nation. But gun control advocates caution that lax laws in other states would still pose a threat.


Senator Michael Gianaris, a Democrat from Queens, is proposing a series of restrictive measures that go above and beyond the state’s already relatively strong gun laws. Gianaris’s bills would:


  • limit New Yorkers to purchasing only one gun per person per month
  • mandate a 10-day waiting period for all gun purchases
  • require background checks for all gun sales, even those between a private seller and buyer
  • require dealers to report all firearm and ammunition sales within 24 hours to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, where records would be kept on file for at least a decade
  • limit ammo sales to permitted dealers
  • require gun buyers to take a safety course


Gianaris crafted these bills in conjunction with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a non-profit that lobbies for stricter gun laws and ranks states based on the strength of their gun laws. Currently, New York ranks fourth-best on the list, with a score of 62 out of 100. The state trails California, New Jersey and Massachusetts, which are first, second, and third, respectively.


Going down New York’s scorecard, you’ll notice the bills introduced by Gianaris specifically address the holes where New York isn’t receiving enough or any points. Passage of all six would make New York #1 for gun control in Brady’s book, with a perfect score of 100.


“New York should lead the way and this is an effort to make us the toughest state in the nation on guns,” Gianaris said.