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.