(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority today passed legislation (S.2450-A & S.35) that will create stronger regulations for the safe storage of firearms and the appearances of imitation weapons to prevent unintentional gun violence. Senator Liz Krueger and Senator Brad Hoylman sponsored the bills.
“Protecting New York children from gun violence is a top priority for the Senate Democratic Majority,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “I commend Senator Brad Hoylman and Senator Liz Krueger for introducing these bills that will help prevent future tragedies by ensuring guns are stored safely in homes with children and that imitation guns are easily distinguished from real guns. The Senate Majority will continue to take action to protect New Yorkers from gun violence.”
Bill Sponsor Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Since 1994, there have been at least 63 shootings in New York State because of toy or imitation guns. Police say it’s virtually impossible to train officers to identify imitation guns from a distance. That’s why it’s important that we stand up to gunmakers and the National Rifle Association and pass my bill that would require toy guns be distinguishable from the real thing. Hopefully, with the bills we pass today on toy guns and safe storage, we’ll save a lot of heartache later for New York families later. I’m grateful to Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for continuing to make gun safety a priority.”
Bill Sponsor Senator Liz Krueger said, “Our primary responsibility as legislators is to keep New York families safe. It’s simply common sense that young children should not have unsupervised access to dangerous weapons, and no responsible gun owner would disagree. Too many times, we have seen the tragic results when kids get their hands on guns. These tragedies are preventable, and today we took an important step that will save lives and keep families whole.”
The gun safety legislation advanced by the Senate Majority include:
- Senate Bill S.2450A, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, will establish penalties for anyone who has a child under 16 in their home and who doesn’t properly store any firearm or render it incapable of being fired by using an appropriate gun-locking device.
- Senate Bill S.35, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, will require that imitation weapons must be entirely brightly colored or be constructed entirely of transparent or translucent materials, and be manufactured with other identifying features.
The common sense legislation passed by the Senate Majority build on the gun safety measures passed on January 29, 2019.
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, “The New New York Senate is committed to preventing senseless gun deaths. Requiring safe storage of firearms and ensuring imitation guns are easily distinguished from the real thing will keep us safer.”
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, “I believe Senate bill (S2450-A) takes a positive step to ensure that firearms are inaccessible to vulnerable children and individuals so that tragic accidents, school incidents and suicides can be prevented. I am proud to co-sponsor Senator Krueger’s bill, reaffirming our commitment to protect all of our citizens by limiting unintentional access to guns. Additionally, it's imperative that we address the real dangers that imitation weapons pose to the safety of our citizens (S.35).”
Senator Alessandra Biaggi said, “There are too many accidental deaths from a child getting hold of a poorly stored gun or a child having a toy that looks like the real thing. There is no reason not to do everything we can to prevent such tragedies. I thank Senators Krueger and Hoylman for their leadership on this issue.”
Senator Neil Breslin said, “Strengthening laws that deal with safe storage of firearms is paramount, as it could lead to a reduction of accidental deaths and suicides as weapons are less readily available behind lock and key. Furthermore, Senator Hoylman's imitation gun bill strengthens the definition of an imitation weapon in attempts to limit crimes committed with them, and accidents that are caused by a misidentification of them.”
Senator John Brooks said, “Unintentional gun violence both in the home and in the street can be avoided with greater care and diligence on our part to ensure safer storage practices and regulating the look and feel of imitation weapons. These bills are consistent with the common sense solutions necessary in combating senseless gun violence.”
Senator David Carlucci said, “Today the Senate Majority supported common-sense gun laws to protect our children from accidental gun deaths. We are ensuring that businesses do not sell toy guns that look real and that real guns are kept out of a child's hands. We know 65 percent of accidental shooting deaths happened in the home or vehicle of a person who legally owned a gun, but who did not responsibly lock it up. New York will no longer tolerate negligent unsafe storage of firearms that can lead to unnecessary deaths.”
Senator Leroy Comrie said, “Doing all we can to keep guns out of the hands of children is just plain common sense. I am proud to co-sponsor Senator Krueger's bill to ensure guns in homes with children are safely stored or have gun locking devices. Additionally, I commend my colleague Senator Hoylman on advancing legislation to add additional protections for New Yorkers as it relates to the dangers of toy guns. Even one crime or accidental shooting occurring as a result of an imitation weapon being mistaken for a real one, is one too many. These are good gun safety bills and I am proud to support them.”
Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “I am proud to support sensible gun legislation like Senator Krueger’s bill requiring the safe storage of firearms and Senator Hoylman's bill ensuring that imitation weapons are brightly colored and instantly recognizable. These bills aren’t about ideology. They’re about saving lives. Nearly two million children in the United States live with unlocked, loaded guns. Imitation weapons have become so lifelike that more and more are being mistaken for the real thing by law enforcement and the public. Requiring gun owners to securely lock their devices with approved storage devices and manufactures to brightly color imitation weapons will measurably reduce gun related deaths and are part of our promise to keep New Yorkers safe.”
Senator Pete Harckham said, “Safe Storage is another common sense firearm safety measure that has been law in Westchester County for years. Two weeks ago a 17 year old was tragically killed in his family home in Putnam Valley with an unsecured firearm. Safe Storage will save lives.”
Senator Todd Kaminsky said, “Protecting our children from tragic accidents involving firearms is of the utmost importance. I was pleased to cosponsor this vital legislation and will continue to advocate for common-sense gun safety measures — our communities have grieved over the loss of far too many loved ones to do any less.”
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, “No parent should have to suffer the unimaginable loss of a child because of an accidental gun discharge in the home, or because a police officer mistook a toy gun for the real thing. Any gun kept in a home with a child should be stored safely, and imitation guns shouldn’t be able to pass for real ones. I’m proud to co-sponsor the safe storage bill, and the imitation gun bill, because they’re common-sense solutions that will literally save lives.”
Senator John Liu said, “We have a responsibility to examine more closely our society's obsession with guns and we must begin to legislate protections for New York state that address this societal problem. These bills are a further step in the right direction towards enhancing safety for New Yorkers from gun harm.”
Senator Shelley Mayer said, “I am pleased to support two common sense gun safety measures to protect children and our communities. Together these measures help protect our families from tragedies that occur when children unintentionally have access to guns or their toy gun is mistaken for a real gun. Westchester, along with many other NY counties and municipalities, adopted this important safe storage measure almost 20 years ago. All law abiding gun owners appreciate the need for safety measures, and these laws ensure sellers and buyers know to store the guns properly and law enforcement can appropriately distinguish a toy gun from a real gun. I thank sponsors Senators Krueger and Hoylman for their leadership on these issues.”
Senator Jessica Ramos said, “As a mother, and as a representative for my community, it is my duty to ensure that my neighbors and their children are protected from unintentional gun violence. Thanks to Senator Hoylman and Senator Krueger, New York will be able to enforce stronger regulations for the safe storage of firearms and the appearance of imitation weapons. The New York State Legislature has already made substantial progress this session, and these two bills will solidify our commitment to gun control and gun safety.”
Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “I am proud of my colleagues for continuing to vote in favor of common sense legislation that will help address the gun violence crisis affecting our state. By creating stronger regulations for the safe storage of firearms and by clarifying and strengthening the definition of imitation weapons, we are taking further steps to strengthen lax gun regulations unnecessarily costing New Yorkers' lives while preventing future tragedies from happening.”
Senator Julia Salazar said, “This country is in the midst of a gun violence public health crisis and I applaud my colleagues for their commitment to keeping New York residents safe from the risks associated with gun culture.”
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “Earlier this year, the Senate passed significant gun-control legislation and we will continue to support common sense measures. Just as car owners have the responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are safe, gun owners have the obligation to safely store their firearms.”
Senator Kevin Thomas said, “With the recent passage of the bump stock ban and red flag laws, New York State has the most effective gun violence prevention legislation in the country. We must maintain that vigilance in order to keep our children and communities safe. That is why I am supporting the two new common sense gun laws aimed at making sure firearms in homes are properly stored and that imitation or toy guns are easily distinguishable from the real thing. I am proud to have been part of the progress we’ve made so far and I look forward to building on that momentum as we protect the rights of responsible gun owners and the lives of all residents at the same time.”