New York already had some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, which were passed in January 2013 following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 26 children. and staff members.
But the new laws will strengthen existing ones and close what state leaders saw as loopholes, including allowing the Buffalo shooter to slip through the state’s red flag status that should have caught his racist rants on social networks and lead to the withdrawal of his weapons.
The Buffalo shooting, in particular, was personal to Hochul: it’s his hometown.
She and other Democratic leaders who control state government have called on other states to act. Some, including Democrat-led California and New Jersey, are considering tough gun laws.
“Thoughts and prayers won’t do it, but strong action will,” Hochul urged, adding a message to members of Congress, where gun control has stalled: “Heaven help you if you look at these pictures and you don’t have a change of heart.”
Red Flag law in New York will be expanded to allow more people, including medical professionals, to file risk orders that could lead to the confiscation of weapons from potentially dangerous people. And it requires, rather than allows, law enforcement to seek an order if credible information is provided.
Semi-automatic rifles, already difficult to obtain in New York, will be added to the list of weapons requiring a license and will only be accessible to those over 21 years of age.
Another bill would ban the sale of body armor to people outside law enforcement or other state-designated professions, and add micro-stamping to bullets, allowing for better tracing. their origin. Social media companies will be required to improve their policies around how they respond to hateful behavior on their platforms, as well as “maintain easily accessible mechanisms” for the public to report people.
“We will be prepared to defend these laws against challenge,” Attorney General Tish James said during the press conference with Hochul and other Democratic leaders.
“The Second Amendment is not absolute.”
James’ comments come as New York awaits a US Supreme Court case in the coming weeks that is expected to overturn its concealed wear ban. If the judges strike down the law, state lawmakers have already pledged to return to the state Capitol to pass a new law that would limit those who concealed transportation permits.