Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announced Assembly passage of legislation she sponsored that makes it more difficult for criminals to obtain firearms, rifles and shotguns from gun dealers and increases the criminal penalties for those who illegally possess multiple guns and are trafficking them from other states (A.8456-A). The bill is part of a sweeping gun safety package passed by the Assembly.
"New York must do a better job of keeping deadly and illegal weapons out of the hands of criminals," Paulin said. "In addition to the tragic human toll, guns cause hundreds of thousands of non-fatal injuries and millions of dollars in economic costs annually. This legislation will crack down on the illegal and irresponsible gun use that cause such horrific crimes."
Paulin noted that firearms are used to kill over 30,000 Americans every year, including almost 1,000 people in New York State.
The underground market for illegal firearms in New York is a leading contributor to many of these fatalities. Between 1994-1998, there were over 30,000 illegal guns seized in New York State. A substantial portion of illegal firearms are diverted to the illegal market through licensed gun dealers.
Paulin’s legislation will inhibit illegal gun sales by:
- increasing penalties for selling illegal guns;
- increasing penalties for possessing illegal guns;
- taking measures to prevent straw purchases;
- requiring gun dealers to store, display and ship guns in a secure manner;
- mandating that guns may only be sold at the location on the gun dealer’s license or at a gun show; and
- prohibiting children from entering a place where guns are sold unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Additional requirements in the bill will help police departments, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials in their efforts to trace and recover illegal weapons.
The legislation will also save substantial taxpayer dollars in future years through reduced costs in the prosecution of gun-related crimes and the treatment of gun-related injuries.
"The gun culture in our country is a dangerous one," said Paulin. "Too many criminals are getting their hands on firearms and compromising the safety of our neighborhoods. My legislation will help keep our families safe."