Gov. Hochul, New York Democrats introduce sweeping gun reform bills in wake of mass shootings

Jim Dolan Image
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Hochul, Democrats introduce sweeping gun reform bills for New York
Governor Kathy Hochul and other New York state Democrats announced a package of gun reform bills in wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. Jim Dolan has more.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Kathy Hochul and other New York state Democrats announced a package of gun reform bills in wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde on Tuesday.

A total of 10 bills were introduced in both the Assembly and Senate that would tighten New York's gun laws, close loopholes and address gaps in the law that were exposed by the horrific events that transpired.

"Within the last month, two horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and in Texas have rattled this nation to our core and shed a new light on the urgent need for action to prevent future tragedies," Hochul said. "New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country but clearly we need to make them even stronger."

Among the proposed legislation is increasing the minimum age required to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21.

ALSO READ | Uvalde police forces no longer cooperating with school shooting probe, source tells ABC News

The decision by the city and school district police departments came shortly after the delayed police intervention during the school massacre was called "the wrong decision."

The bills would also require information to be shared between state, local and federal agencies when guns are used in crimes and require microstamping for new guns.

One bill would bar anyone who isn't in law enforcement or security from buying body armor, noting that the Buffalo shooter wore a vest.

Another would make threatening a mass casualty event a crime.

Others would increase accountability for social media platforms and eliminate grandfathering of large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

The proposed legislation would also strengthen the Red Flag law by expanding the list of people who can file for Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

ALSO READ: Onlookers urged police to charge into TX school: 'Go in there!'

Video shows parents begging police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers.

"We will strengthen our Red Flag law so those that are a risk to themselves and others don't fall through the cracks of the system," New York Speaker Carl Heastie said.

However, not everyone was in favor of the gun proposals, including New York state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy.

"If Hochul and legislative leaders cared about shooting victims, they would vote today to repeal their disastrous bail laws that have turned our streets over to violent criminals," he said. "Instead, they are focused on giving themselves election-year talking points and a pat on the back without doing the hard work."

He states that the package of bills does nothing to address the underlying mental health crisis contributing to the problem and that it doesn't invest in securing schools.


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