New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Statement on Passage of Gun Control Legislation

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) proudly cast her vote today in favor of passage of sweeping gun control measures to prevent people from possessing the most dangerous kinds of weapons, such as semi-assault style weapons, as well as high-capacity ammunition clips. The law, known as the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act will also ensure that people who should not have access to guns, including criminals and the violently mentally ill, are barred from accessing them.

“New York’s law should be a national model,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “No matter where you live, in a red state or a blue state, in the city or the countryside, one thing is true: you do not need an assault weapon to hunt, and if you do, perhaps you should take up another hobby.”

In addition to expanding the existing ban on assault weapons by prohibiting semiautomatic weapons with a detachable clip containing only one military-style feature as opposed to two, the new law will also reduce the legal number of high capacity magazine clips to 7 from the current 10 rounds of ammunition. Any person currently in possession of a newly banned weapon would be required to register it with the state; ammunition buyers will be subject to background checks to ensure that they are not prohibited from possessing such ammunition.

“In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, in which 20 children and 6 adults were brutally gunned down, it is incumbent upon us as lawmakers to pass sensible legislation to make our streets and our schools safer,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal. “By providing for reimbursements to schools that make critical safety investments, this bill will do just that.”

And, it is more than fitting that we pass this law on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. King’s life and untimely and violent death are symbols of peace and freedom the world over, and his words ring true even today. ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ Today, we stand on the right side of history,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

In addition to the ban, the law will require the revocation of any gun license and surrender of any firearm if a person is found to be mentally incapacitated or if an order of protection is issued. It will also require the safe storage of any firearm in a household in which a violently mentally ill person resides. The law will empower mental health professionals to report to local officials patients whom they believe may present a danger to themselves or to others. Law enforcement is additionally charged with confiscating any firearm owned by these potentially dangerous individuals.

Assemblymember Rosenthal concluded, “While banning the most dangerous types of firearms will certainly make our streets safer, the law also empowers judges and mental health professionals to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s strong and progressive leadership on this issue.”