O’Brien and Senate pass gun control overhaul

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Senate passed a bipartisan overhaul of state gun laws late last evening.  This legislation features a balanced approach that preserves Second Amendment rights while increasing restrictions on assault weapons. It also has provisions to take away licenses from individuals with mental illness who, in the opinion of mental health professionals, would pose a danger to themselves or others should they possess guns. Senator Ted O’Brien was one of 43 senators who voted “yes” on the measure.

The new bill includes changes that are responsive to the Christmas Eve tragedy in Webster, N.Y. The murder of firefighters and EMTs will now be considered an A1 felony, the most serious classification of crime in New York State. In addition, the crime of acting as a “straw purchaser,” or buying weapons with the intention of illegally transferring them to other people who cannot legally buy the weapons themselves, has been upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony.

“I consider these portions to be some of the most important aspects of the bill,” O’Brien said.  “Those who would kill a first responder going about their duties and risking their personal well-being to keep others safe are guilty of a horrendous crime,” he said.

“We’ve begun an important process towards making New York a safer place to live while respecting the constitutional right to bear arms,” O’Brien said.


Sen. O’Brien represents the 55th district in the Senate, which is made up of the eastern half of Monroe County and the western half of Ontario County, including much of the city of Rochester.

Media contact: 

Thomas J. Morrisey
Communications Director
office: (585) 223-1800