Yonkers, NY – The Yonkers City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of a resolution supporting State Senator Jeff Klein’s legislation (S6773) to make it a crime to carry a gun while intoxicated.
“Guns and alcohol are a deadly mix. Putting a stop to carrying while intoxicated is a common sense measure that New York State absolutely must adopt. I applaud the Yonkers City Council for joining me in this fight to protect New Yorkers from gun violence,” said State Senator and Deputy Majority Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).
Senator Klein’s legislation stipulates that carrying a gun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol would be a class-A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Under New York State law, a person is intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol content is over .08 percent. Klein’s legislation mirrors state driving intoxication laws in that it would also consider common-sense indicators, such as staggering, slurred speech, and smell of alcohol, as evidence of impairment. This bill would not apply to people who carry a gun in their own home.
“Spiderman’s creator Stan Lee penned the phrase, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’” said Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick. “Carrying a firearm is an awesome responsibility and there can be no tolerance for anyone who does so while drunk. The City Council is proud to support this legislation and looks forward to its adoption,” he added.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least twenty states already prohibit gun possession in certain circumstances while an individual is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.