Albany, NY Yesterday, January 29, 2019, the New York State Legislature passed several pieces of legislation to ensure Gun Reform and Gun Safety. The package helps to keep guns out of the wrong hands, puts restrictions on gun possession on school grounds, and bans bump stocks. The Assembly has long since been passing these key pieces of legislation in the Gun Reform package, even with repeated feet dragging from the Senate. However, now with new Senate leadership, these bills have passed and will become law.
"I vote today in support of the safety and well-being of the people of New York State," says Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. "These bills place restrictions on gun users. However, they do not restrict the Second Amendment of the Constitution. We are upholding the Constitution in the most right and humane way. We implement these laws to ensure everyone's ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Our communities can only do that when they are not vulnerable to massacres at the hands of gun users."
The series of bills is as enumerated below:
A02690/S02374 establishes waiting period of 30 days, as opposed to the current 3 day, before a firearm can be delivered to an individual. During that time, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) would issue a "proceed" notification and the licensee would have their firearm delivered.
When it comes to gun violence, America has an ugly past. Last year, a mass shooting erupted at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There were 11 victims and many more were injured. Another incident was the shooting in 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where State Senator Clementa Pinckney was killed. These tragedies occurred at locations that are open to the public where they make it their mission to welcome individuals into their ministry. These events beckon the question as to whether we are safe to extend invitations to our places of worship.
The list goes on.Â Our history holds the memories of actions such as the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 killing 15; Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 killing 32 people on campus; the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 killing 27, including 20 6-7-year-old children; and the Parkland High School shooting in Florida killing 17. These are establishments frequented by children and the fact that guns were allowed to be on school grounds is unacceptable.
Indeed, America's issues with gun violence run even deeper than that. According to the Brady Campaign, everyday 96 people die from gun violence.1Â According to Every Town for Gun Safety, an estimated 44% of American adults report that they know someone who has been shot and nearly 25% report that they or someone in their family has been threatened by someone using a gun.2 The NYS Legislature wants to right these wrongs and ensure safety for all.
"These laws are imperative to ensure safety," says Assemblymember Bichotte. "Gun violence is a rampant problem in my community especially. And I also urge my constituents to exercise compassion. Many of these atrocities could have been foreseeable and erupted from bigoted sentiments."
Assemblymember Bichotte also votes in favor of gun reform in loving member of her beloved sorority sister of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Angela Beldsoe, who was gunned down by her significant other.
1) Brady Campaign - Key Gun Violence Statistics
2) Every Town for Gun Safety - Gun Violence in America