NEW CITY, NY - Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and the Senate Democratic Majority today, during the start of Gun Violence Awareness Month, advanced legislation to prevent gun violence and make New York’s communities safer. The package includes bills to hold those responsible for the marketing and distribution of firearms used in criminal activity, combat the dangers of imitation weapons, expand safety training for gun owners, enact measures to track gun violence data, and fund meaningful research on this crisis. Additionally, this legislation will improve the enforcement and pre-existing laws against firearm sales to individuals with outstanding warrants and creates forceful measures to eliminate the circulation of unfinished receivers and untraceable weapons.
Today’s bill package builds on the Senate Democratic Majority's previous legislation to stand up to the corporate gun lobby and protect New Yorkers from gun violence.
Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick said, “Gun violence is an epidemic in our communities, and the state government has an obligation to do all that we can to stem the tide of illegal firearms on our streets, and keep legal firearms from getting into the hands of criminals. I have long called for a ban on untraceable “ghost guns” and unfinished receivers that can be turned into assault weapons by anyone in their own home - I am proud to say that the State Senate has taken action today to end the proliferation of these dangerous firearms.”
The legislation passed by the Senate Majority, includes:
● Gun Industry Liability Law: This bill, S.1048A, imposes accountability on those responsible for the illegal or unreasonable sale, manufacture, distribution, importing, or marketing of firearms that creates a public nuisance and harm to the public.
● Crackdown on Imitation Weapons: This bill, S.687, would update the definition of “imitation weapon” to be consistent with New York City Administrative Code and combat the harm incurred by realistic toy guns.
● Release of Gun Violence Data: This bill, S.1251, would require the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to release quarterly reports regarding gun violence data. This measure seeks to track whether guns obtained and used in criminal acts were acquired in states with weaker gun laws than New York’s.
● Establishing the Center for Firearm Violence Research: This bill, S.2981, would establish a Center for Firearm Violence Research to better understand the causes and manifestations of gun violence, as well as generate data-driven solutions.
● Outstanding Warrant Restrictions: This bill, S.5000B, would make it an explicit crime to purchase a firearm, knowing there was an active warrant out for your arrest. It would also prohibit the gifting and selling of firearms to an individual if the provider knows that the recipient has an outstanding warrant.
● Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act: This bill, S.14A, enacts the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act to prohibit the possession of a ghost gun by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith, and prohibit their sale entirely. Additionally, any gunsmith would be required to serialize and register all weapons in their possession.
● Amending the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act: This bill, S.13A, amends the penal law of the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act, named for the individual who sacrificed his life in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. This act would allow the sale of unfinished receivers to be prosecuted in the first and second degree.
● Mandatory Purchase Waiting Period: This bill. S.1235, sponsor would enact a ten day waiting period for the purchase of all firearms, and would charge any violation as a class A misdemeanor.