Assembly and Senate Pass Paulin’s Legislation to Toughen Penalties for Sale and Possession of Illegal Weapons

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-I Scarsdale) announced that her legislation to toughen penalties for sale and possession of illegal guns passed the Assembly and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature. "This legislation is vital to stop the illegal flow of weapons into the hands of criminals," said Paulin. "We have a duty to protect our police officers and all citizens from the violence that is perpetuated by the ease of obtaining illegal guns."

Ironically, although Paulin authored and succeeded in passing legislation to toughen penalties n the Assembly for the past two years, she was unable to be present at the special session of the Legislature because she is in India visiting her daughter who has been studying in a semester abroad program. "It simply was not possible to return in time for the special session," said Paulin, noting however that she has been communicating with the Governor’s office, Speaker’s office, and fellow legislators by phone and by fax for the past several days to help reach an agreement.

Paulin’s bill increases the penalties for both the sale and possession of illegal firearms and closes a loophole by aggregating the number of illegal firearms sold over the course of one year so that gun traffickers face stiffer penalties.

Paulin said while she is pleased the bill was passed, it is unfortunate it came upon the heels of two deaths of New York City police officers. "Sadly it sometimes takes a tragedy to bring focus to our efforts," she said, noting that ten years ago the death of Eastchester Police Officer Michael Frey spurred legislative action to close gaps in Westchester County’s gun licensing law. At that time Paulin was president of Westchester’s League of Women Voters and worked closely with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence on the Westchester legislation.

"All New Yorkers, especially police officers, will be safer because of today’s action," Paulin concluded, "Police officers spend their lives protecting us. Today we did something to protect them back."