BY NATHAN DUKE
State Assembly members representing Queens have announced the passage of a bill to prevent and reduce gun violence through a variety of measures, including the banning of bump stocks and placing some limits on who can purchase weapons.
Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) said that the legislative package is aimed at preventing the type of mass shootings that recently plagued Parkland, Florida, and Las Vegas from occurring in New York.
“Despite tragedy after tragedy, the federal government refuses to take action to protect Americans from gun violence,” Braunstein said. “This legislation will help to prevent suicides, domestic-violence incidents and potentially even mass shootings.”
Braunstein called on the state Senate to pass the legislative package.
The bill includes measures to ban bump stocks—which are attachments that enable semiautomatic rifles to fire more rapidly—and prevent individuals who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others from purchasing firearms. The legislation would also establish a longer waiting period before delivery of a purchased firearm to a person who has not cleared a background check.
“The Assembly took action against gun violence by passing commonsense legislation that would close loopholes in the law and keep New Yorkers safe,” Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) said. “While the federal government continues debating over life-saving gun control measures, we are confronting the issue head on to improve background checks, keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and prevent the mass shootings that have shaken up schools and communities across the nation.”
Under current state law, attaching a bump stock—which enables firearms to operate in the same manner as machine guns—to a firearm is illegal. However, there is no restriction on the sale or possession of bump stocks or other similar devices that are not attached to a firearm. Bump stocks were placed on the weapons that were used to kill 58 people and injured more than 500 others in the October shooting in Las Vegas.
Currently, there is a waiting period of only three days before a gun may be delivered to a purchaser whose background check is not completed. The Assembly’s bill would extend that period to 10 days.
According to the FBI, more than 15,000 gun sales went forward between 2010 and 2014 to individuals who were prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm, due to an inability to determine whether individuals should be able to purchase a gun or be denied within the three-day period.
The Assembly’s bill would also prohibit individuals who have been convicted on domestic-violence charges from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Another measure passed by the legislative body would require out-of-state citizens who also have homes in New York to waive the confidentiality of their home state mental illness records when applying for a firearm here.