In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, one month after 20 first graders and six staff members were gunned down and killed, New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo signed the nation’s first gun law control after Newtown massacre.
The measure, which passed the state Assembly 104-43 and state Senate 43-18 addresses the following from NBC:
- Bans possession of any high-capacity magazines regardless of when they were made or sold. Only clips able to hold up to seven rounds can be sold in the state. Clips able to hold seven to 10 rounds can be possessed, but cannot be loaded with more than seven rounds. If an owner is found to have eight or more bullets in a magazine, he or she could face a misdemeanor charge.
- Requires ammunition dealers to do background checks, similar to those for gun buyers. Dealers are required to report all sales, including amounts, to the state. Internet sales of ammunition are allowed, but the ammunition will have to be shipped to a licensed dealer in New York state for pickup.
- Requires creation of a registry of assault weapons. Those New Yorkers who already own such weapons would be required to register their guns with the state.
- Requires any therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat of harming others to report the threat to a mental health director, who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her, as well.
- Stipulates that stolen guns should be reported within 24 hours.
- Tightens the state’s description of an “assault” weapon. Previous state law defined an assault weapon as having two “military rifle” features, but the new law reduces that specification to just one feature
- Requires background checks for all gun sales, including by private dealers — except for sales to members of the seller’s immediate family
While opponents of the bill argue that stricter gun laws will not lessen crime rate, according to an article by Politico, “nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws.” It goes on to say that a majority of Americans “favor a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons, and limits on gun violence depicted in video games, movies and TV show.”
In contrast to Mr. Cuomo’s bill, which has been dubbed “the toughest gun control package in the nation” by Sen. Jeffrey Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, President Barack Obama unveiled a wider-ranging package of steps that will curb gun violence in America. His plan includes mandatory background checks for all gun purchases–this includes private sales; reinstate a ban on some assault-style weapons; ban high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds and tightening illicit weapons trafficking.
Of president Obama’s three major legislative proposals, the most favorable one by Republicans is extensive background checks. But the ban of semiautomatic rifles and limiting the number of ammunition magazines can have will face a tougher path.
Some are criticizing the move as incentive and are skeptical about gun restrictions Obama has proposed.