Biaggi and the Senate Majority pass measures to prevent gun violence

Senator Alessandra Biaggi and the Senate passed gun violence measures.
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Senator Alessandra Biaggi and the Senate Democratic Majority advanced legislation last week to prevent gun violence and make New York’s communities safer.

The package includes bills to hold those responsible for the marketing and distribution of firearms used in criminal activity, combat the dangers of imitation weapons, expand safety training for gun owners, enact measures to track gun violence data and fund meaningful research on the gun violence epidemic. Additionally, this legislation will improve the enforcement and pre-existing laws against firearm sales to individuals with outstanding warrants and creates forceful measures to eliminate the circulation of unfinished receivers and untraceable weapons.

This legislative package builds on the Senate Democratic Majority’s previous legislation to stand up to the corporate gun lobby and protect New Yorkers from gun violence.

“As the epidemic of gun violence continues to take innocent lives from our communities, it is clear we can no longer operate within a society that values the right to own a gun more than the right to live,” Biaggi said. “We must honor all victims and survivors of gun violence by taking bold action and passing effective gun reform legislation. Passing this legislative package is a critical step in ensuring people who should not own a gun, do not have access to one.”

The legislation passed by Biaggi and the Senate Majority includes:

  • Gun Industry Liability Law: This bill, S.1048A, sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie and cosponsored by  Biaggi, imposes accountability on those responsible for the illegal or unreasonable sale, manufacture, distribution, importing, or marketing of firearms that creates a public nuisance and harm to the public.

  • Crackdown on Imitation Weapons: This bill, S.687, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and cosponsored by Biaggi, would update the definition of “imitation weapon” to be consistent with New York City Administrative Code and combat the harm incurred by realistic toy guns.

  • Release of Gun Violence Data: This bill, S.1251, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris and cosponsored by Senator Biaggi, would require the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to release quarterly reports regarding gun violence data. This measure seeks to track whether guns obtained and used in criminal acts were acquired in states with weaker gun laws than New York’s.

  • Establishing the Center for Firearm Violence Research: This bill, S.2981, sponsored by Senator Roxanne J. Persaud and cosponsored by Senator Biaggi, would establish a Center for Firearm Violence Research to better understand the causes and manifestations of gun violence, as well as generate data-driven solutions.

  • Outstanding Warrant Restrictions: This bill, S.5000B, sponsored by Senator Brian Kavanagh and cosponsored by Senator Biaggi, would make it an explicit crime to purchase a firearm, knowing there was an active warrant out for your arrest. It would also prohibit the gifting and selling of firearms to an individual if the provider knows that the recipient has an outstanding warrant.

  • Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act: This bill, S.14A, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and cosponsored by Senator Biaggi, enacts the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act to prohibit the possession of a ghost gun by anyone other than a licensed gunsmith, and prohibit their sale entirely. Additionally, any gunsmith would be required to serialize and register all weapons in their possession.

  • Amending the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act: This bill, S.13A, sponsored by Senator Anna Kaplan and cosponsored by Senator Biaggi, amends the penal law of the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act, named for the individual who sacrificed his life in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. This act would allow the sale of unfinished receivers to be prosecuted in the first and second degree.

  • Mandatory Purchase Waiting Period: This bill. S.1235, sponsored by Senator Michael Gianaris and cosponsored by Senator Biaggi, would enact a ten day waiting period for the purchase of all firearms, and would charge any violation as a class A misdemeanor.

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