Senate Democrats Push Anti-Gun Violence Package

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

May 09, 2017

Albany, NY - During Donald Trump’s recent address to the National Rifle Association the President made it clear that not only will the federal government stop efforts to curb gun violence, but it will actually roll the clock back on common sense restrictions and protections. In response, the New York State Senate Democrats have rolled out a series of bills to protect New Yorkers. This legislative package is part of the Senate Democrats’ ongoing Resistance Agenda against President Trump.

“We will not allow the progress we have made on curbing gun violence backslide,” Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “State government needs to step up and protect New Yorkers from the reckless behavior and anti-firearm safety views of Donald Trump. New Yorkers deserve real action to protect our communities, and that means all Democratic Senators must work together to move this common sense legislation forward.”

In addition to President Trump’s anti-firearm safety rhetoric, the Senate Republican/IDC Coalition actually weakened the New York SAFE-Act in the 2017-2018 State Budget. The Majority Coalition succeeded in blocking funding for an ammunition database as required by the SAFE-Act. In response to these attacks on firearm safety regulations, the Senate Democrats announced a series of bills which, when passed, will help keep New York’s communities safe.

The bills included in the Senate Democrats’ anti-gun violence Resistance Agenda legislative package include:

>>Senate Bill S.2476, sponsored by Senate Democratic Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, which will limit the sale of guns to an individual to one per 30-days.

>>Senate Bill S.5808, sponsored by Senate Democratic Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris, which will implement the Effective Background Check Act of 2017. This legislation will create a comprehensive, 10-day waiting period during which a background check for the purchase of firearms will be performed, and will establish background checks for gun dealer employees.

>>Senate Bill S.5569, sponsored by Senate Democratic Policy Group Chair Daniel Squadron, which will prohibit someone convicted of a hate crime from buying or owning a gun

>>Senate Bill S.5922, sponsored by Senator Jamaal Bailey, which will allow families victimized by gun violence to sue manufacturers. New York courts ruled that this type of legal action could not occur in New York under common law, but in other states this technique is the main remedy for families in the case of mass shooting deaths, such as the families of the Sandy Hook victims. This legislation will help victims hold a manufacturer accountable for making deadly weapons too readily available or too easy to use in mass killing situations.

>>Senate Bill S.2694, sponsored by Senator Neil Breslin, which will create a Task Force on public health impact of firearms. As federal law prohibits researching gun violence, a state-based study would be a historic way of better exposing mass gun violence and supporting future policy changes.

>>Senate Bill S.5447, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, which will establish extreme risk protection orders. This legislation will create an easier standard for acquiring an order of protection based on the harm that a gun owner can do compared to a non-gun owner.

>>Senate Bill S.3355, sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger, which will create the Children's Weapons Prevention Act which mandates that gun owners store their firearms at home in a locked box.

>>Senate Bill S.5829, sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker, which will prohibit the possession or manufacture of any firearm, rifle, or shotgun which is undetectable by an X-Ray machine, metal detector, or magnetometer.

>>Senate Bill S.4363, sponsored by Senator Roxanne Persaud, which will create a center for research into firearm-related violence.

>>Senate Bill S.3444, sponsored by Senator Jose Serrano, which will require gun dealers to sell only child-proof weapons, such as firearms that cannot readily/easily be used by children under 6.

Bill Sponsor and Senate Democratic Deputy Leader Senator, Michael Gianaris said, “Across our nation, Americans are fighting every day for common sense gun safety measures to end the epidemic of gun violence. As a state that has suffered through more than its share of gun-related tragedies, it is important that we protect our citizens and act on the need for more sensible gun laws. I am proud to support these proposals that will make our communities safer.”

Bill Sponsor and Senate Democratic Policy Group Chair, Senator Daniel Squadron said, “New York can do more to reduce the threat of gun violence. The package of bills put forth by the Conference, including my bill to curb gun access for hate crime offenders, is crucial to better protecting communities across the state. Thank you to Leader Stewart-Cousins, my Conference colleagues, and advocates.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Jamaal Bailey said, “Gun violence is an issue that continues to plague our communities. We have to take an initiative in implementing anti-gun laws and we need to hold manufacturers accountable for producing deadly weapons. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to establish solid gun reform legislation and make the streets of New York safer.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Neil Breslin said, “It is critical to the health and safety of our communities that we move forward and enact common sense anti-gun violence measures. As part of this effort, we need to gather as much information as possible about the public health impacts of gun violence. Reviewing coordinated data form State and local law enforcement agencies and health care professionals will help us better determine the causes and effects of gun violence and therefore be able to make more informed policy decisions going forward.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Brad Hoylman said, “The United States accounts for up to 50 percent of the planet's civilian-owned guns and has a homicide-by-firearm rate similar to Venezuela’s. With an extremist White House in the pocket of the NRA, it’s up to states like New York to bring an end to this epidemic. I’m proud to join Leader Stewart-Cousins and the entire Democratic Conference in putting forth this comprehensive legislative package, including my bill to remove guns temporarily from people who may harm themselves or others, that will save lives and help our communities.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Liz Krueger said, “New Yorkers know that we need common-sense laws that promote responsible gun ownership. But President Trump and the Senate GOP/IDC coalition in Albany are threatening to erode the few protections we already have. We’ve seen what happens when guns flood into our streets, our schools, our colleges, or our movie theaters. Enough is enough. It’s time for a united Democratic Conference that can stand up for the needs of the people of this state, instead of serving Donald Trump and the NRA.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Kevin Parker said, “My colleagues and I in the Senate will not allow the usual suspects to hinder us from passing progressive legislation around the issue of gun safety. The Senate Democrats anti-gun violence package will help to decrease gun violence across our State, while holding gun holders accountable. We will do all we can to ensure that the safety of all New Yorkers is central to any laws we enact.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, “To fight the gun violence epidemic that our communities are facing, we must address the root cause. Gun violence is preventable; it is imperative that we stand together to eliminate this threat to our families, our communities and our nation as a whole. The common sense legislation which we have introduced will combat this menace to our society. This is a crisis and we must act now.”

Bill Sponsor, Senator Jose M. Serrano said, “The dangerous policies being presented on the federal level are jeopardizing all the great progress we have made on gun control in New York State. This is why my New York State Senate Democratic Conference colleagues and I have introduced a comprehensive anti-gun violence ‘Resistance Agenda’ legislative package. This package, which includes my bill S.3444 that would require gun dealers to sell only child-proof weapons, will curb gun violence and protect New Yorkers.”

Senate Democrats have led the fight to keep New York communities safer from gun violence. The New York SAFE-Act was passed due to unanimous Senate Democratic support, and included bills which were sponsored by Democratic Senators. However, since passage of the SAFE-Act, the Senate Republican/IDC Coalition has worked to weaken this landmark statute and block all additional efforts to curb gun violence. The Senate Democratic Conference will continue to advance pro-safety legislation and will lead the resistance to President Trump and his allies in Washington, as well as in New York.

Senator John Brooks said, “We need sensible solutions to combat gun-violence on Long Island. By keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, we can help keep our communities safe.”

Senator Martin Malavé Dilan said, “People on both sides of the gun safety debate have reached common ground in light of recent tragedies throughout the nation. No one debates the merits of limiting access to certain weapons, or to some people in certain circumstances. Trump’s rhetoric on gun safety is dangerous and self-serving and in no way serves the interests of the American people or the communities adversely impacted by gun violence.”

Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “I proudly stand with my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Conference as we put forth a comprehensive legislative package to properly address the gun violence epidemic that continues to devastate our state and country. These common sense measures represent necessary steps our state needs to take in order to strengthen lax gun regulations that continue to cost the lives of thousands of Americans per year.”

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “Passing the NY SAFE Act was a good first step in making New York gun laws some of the strongest in the nation. It shouldn't take another Pulse shooting in Orlando or Sandy Hook massacre to pass legislation regulating guns. This is not about Second Amendment rights, it's about ensuring firearms are out of reach of those looking to do harm to themselves or others. This package of bills will save lives and further our cause in reducing gun violence in New York.”

Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said, “We applaud the New York State Senate’s Democratic Conference for their leadership on sensible gun safety legislation. We stand together in support of measures that will keep guns out of the hands of individuals in crisis and prevent gun violence motivated by hate. With the gun lobby pursuing efforts that could bring more guns into our communities, we must urge our state lawmakers to enact commonsense laws that will protect all New Yorkers.”

Nico Bocour, State Legislative Manager of Americans for Responsible Solutions, said, “Today, several New York Senators used their voice to stand up to the gun lobby and call for some responsible legislation that protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners, keeps guns out of the wrong hands, and saves lives. The New York Senators who are sponsoring these commonsense bills should be commended for fighting to make our communities safer. Now it's time for the New York Senate to bring these responsible bills up for a vote and help reduce gun violence.”