The New York State Senate passed tougher gun laws on Monday night by a 43–18 vote. The Assembly, which meets this morning, is expected to take up the measures.
The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act or NY SAFE proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo requires universal background checks for all gun sales, and bans magazines with more than seven rounds among other restrictions.
Following the vote, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) said the legislation will protect citizens from gun violence and safeguards every citizen's Second Amendment right.
"This is a comprehensive package that enacts stiffer penalties for criminal wrongdoers, closes glaring loopholes in our state's assault weapons law, strengthens "Kendra's Law" by allowing Courts to order proper treatment of those with serious mental health illness, and creates a statewide registry of assault weapons to ensure accountability," said Carlucci. "Finally, and of great importance to all New York gun owners, this bill ensures better privacy standards here in New York by establishing a state Database of Pistol Permits that is not subject to FOIL."
The Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference, of which Carlucci is a member, and the bipartisan Majority Coalition supported the legislation.
Republican Senator Greg Ball (R, C — Patterson), said he could not support the bill.
He said, in a statement, after the vote, “We needed solid provisions to keep the violently, mentally ill from harming our communities, our kids and our families. That didn’t happen tonight. While much in this bill, as far as stiffer penalties for real criminals and help on the mental health front is good, the last minute push, in the middle of the night without critical public input from sportsmen and taxpayers was outrageous and forced members to vote on a bill they had not read. While I’m glad we won on many fronts, including my permit privacy legislation against the Journal News, I simply cannot support a bill that turns law abiding citizens into criminals by creating an entire new category of illegal firearms out of currently legal rifles and shotguns,” said Senator Greg Ball.
Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), prime sponsor of the sweeping gun control legislation, said while preserving the constitutional rights of legal gun owners the bill also provides reasonable, common sense restrictions.
"We’ve passed a full-throated ban on assault weapons,” said Klein. “We’ve taken high capacity magazines off of store shelves. We’ve gotten serious about treating illegal gun owners as criminals. We’ve closed loopholes in the gun sales laws. And we’ve taken truly historic steps towards keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill."