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Pol Aims to Make New York's Gun Laws Toughest in the Country

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | August 7, 2012 3:23pm
Senator Michael Gianaris wants to make New York the toughest state on guns.
Senator Michael Gianaris wants to make New York the toughest state on guns.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

ASTORIA — Amid the latest spike in crime around New York and following the mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, Astoria state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is introducing a series of bills to strengthen the state’s gun control laws, aiming to make New York the toughest state on guns.

The number of shootings in the city has increased by 12 percent from the beginning of this year through early July, compared to the same time last year, according to Gianaris.

"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 in a statement.

His package of bills, he said, is based on criteria established by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which ranks the states according to the strength of their gun control laws.

Currently, New York ranks fourth in the country, trailing California, New Jersey and Massachusetts, senator said.

If Gianaris’s package of bills passes, along with other gun control measurements introduced earlier by his fellow senators, it would make New York the toughest state on gun control laws.

The legislation would limit the purchase of a firearm to one per month. It would also require background checks for all gun sales, while imposing a 10-day waiting period in order to give law enforcement officials enough time to conduct a thorough background check of the prospective gun owner.

And it would require prospective buyers to obtain a firearm safety certificate, which can only be acquired after the completion of a safety training course.

Gianaris wants mandating dealers to report all firearm and ammunition sales within 24 hours to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. Records of all sales would be kept on file by the state for at least ten years.

“With the enactment of these sensible gun laws, New York will establish itself as the nation's leader in combating gun violence," Gianaris said. "I will continue to push hard until we get results and make the streets safer."