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Queens Chronicle

State Sen. Gianaris plans strictest gun control in nation

Bills prepared long before massacre at Sikh temple

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Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 4:57 pm | Updated: 2:27 am, Thu Oct 11, 2012.

Declaring that he wants New York State to have the toughest gun control laws in the country, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) is introducing a series of bills that he said are based on "criteria established by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence."

The state is ranked fourth nationwide by the Brady Center for its regulation of firearms, earning 62 out of a possible 100 points. Only California, with 81 points, New Jersey, with 72, and Massachusetts, with 65, have stricter gun control laws, according to the organization.

Gianaris said that passing his legislation, along with other measures already before the Legislature, would make New York No. 1.

The lawmaker prepared the measures before Sunday's murder of six Sikhs in a Milwaukee suburb by an apparent neo-Nazi. He noted that shootings in New York City are up 12 percent so far this year, compared to the same time period last year.

"The recent rash of gun violence makes clear that enough is enough. It is long past time to improve our gun laws and New York should lead the way,” Gianaris said. “With the enactment of these sensible gun laws, New York will establish itself as the nation's leader in combating gun violence. I will continue to push hard until we get results and make the streets safer."

Noting that under state law, "firearm" is defined only as a handgun or sawed-off shotgun or rifle, Gianaris said his bills would: 

· limit the purchase of a firearm to one per month and limit a firearm dealer from selling a firearm to any individual who has purchased such a weapon within the previous 30 days;

· establish a universal background check to close a loophole in firearm sales and require background checks for all gun sales, even transactions between private sellers and buyers;

· require prospective purchasers to obtain a firearm safety certificate, which can only be acquired after the successful completion of a safety training course that includes live firing, a safe-handling demonstration and a written test of firearm laws;

·impose a 10-day waiting period to the sale of a firearm in order to give law enforcement officials enough time to perform a thorough background check of the prospective owner. This would also allow for a “cooling-off” period to help guard against impulsive acts of violence; and

· close several gaps in the regulation of firearms and sale of ammunition, including requiring dealer permits to sell firearms, rifles, shotguns and ammunition, require insurance for permitted dealers and mandating dealers to report all firearm and ammunition sales within 24 hours to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. Records of all sales must be kept on file by the state for at least 10 years.

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1 comment:

  • DuaneFamly posted at 12:37 pm on Tue, Aug 7, 2012.

    DuaneFamly Posts: 0

    The right wing Nazi that committed the Sihk temple shooting would have passed all these restrictions. This is just another attempt to totally outlaw the private possession of guns by a government. If you read the article, I hope you do not miss the added restriction of having to report the sale of ammunition. This was tried in many other states and, pardon the pun, shot down by the people because of its further restriction of gun ownership. There was a recent article written by a retired Marine officer that puts a good understanding of gun ownership by everyday people.

    Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

    In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

    When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

    The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken guys with baseball bats.

    The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

    There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

    People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

    Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

    People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force, watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

    The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

    By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)