NYS Sen. Thomas Introduces New Legislation to Clamp Down on the ‘Iron Pipeline’ and Fight Gun Trafficking

(Garden City, NY) — Just days after the tragic shooting of two New York City police officers, New York State Senator Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) and Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove) today announced the introduction of new state legislation to crack down on criminal gun traffickers and eliminate the steady flow of illegal guns into New York. The bill would strengthen existing laws that prevent the unauthorized sale and possession of firearms. 

“With the continual flood of illegal guns in New York, we simply cannot allow gun traffickers to ruin lives and threaten public safety,” said Senator Kevin Thomas. “By increasing penalties for criminal gun traffickers, we can help to stop the flow of illegal guns from out of state, reduce gun violence, and save lives.” 

“I proudly join my Senate colleague Kevin Thomas as the sponsor of this bill in the Assembly,” said Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine. “We must continue to fight for stronger – yet sensible – gun legislation to keep our communities safe, and this bill does just that by strengthening existing laws concerning the illegal sale of firearms.”

According to a report from the New York State Attorney General’s Office, over 70% of the guns used to commit crimes in New York come from out of state. The NYAG’s Organized Crime Task Force and other law enforcement agencies have frequently disrupted gun trafficking schemes along the I-95 corridor, earning it the nickname the ‘Iron Pipeline.’ States with weaker gun laws, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, have been identified as ‘supplier states’ along the pipeline.

In New York State, the unauthorized sale of a gun is a violent felony offense. Penalties are dependent on the number of guns involved in the offense. The new legislation aims to strengthen existing laws by lowering the number of illegal firearms needed to qualify for a first or second-degree felony offense, which may carry multi-year prison sentences and substantial fines. The bill would also lower the number of illegal firearms an individual can possess that could be considered presumptive evidence of intent to sell.

The legislation has been filed and is awaiting an official bill number. 


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