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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

New York enacting new gun restrictions

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN

New York lawmakers are authorizing waits up to 30 days for gun buyers in the state to clear FBI background checks.

It was one of several new gun restrictions approved Tuesday by the now Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to sign them into law, calling them common sense.

The background checks are intended to determine whether would-be buyers have felony or domestic violence convictions or determined mental illnesses that would prevent them from legally owning a gun.

Currently the waiting period is three days, and about 90 percent of applications are resolved in that time, said Assembly member Amy Paulin, a lead sponsor of the bill.

However, it can take the FBI longer to find old felonies or misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, Paulin said. The remaining roughly 10 percent, about 42,000 applications annually in New York, aren’t resolved in three days, she said.

Under current law those buyers can get the guns anyway, Cuomo said. “If you’re not cleared in three days you have the right to buy the gun,” he said.

Other gun legislation passed Tuesday by both houses and headed for Cuomo’s signature will prohibit possessing bump stocks that enable semiautomatic weapons to fire more rapidly. Another bill will establish a court procedure for seizing guns for up to a year from someone not convicted of a prohibitive crime but judged to pose a severe threat of harming himself or others.

Legislation that was held back from floor votes Tuesday for minor revisions would require specific safe storage of a rifle, shotgun or other firearm by owners living with someone under 16 years old.

That would require locking the gun in an appropriate depository or using a gun lock to so it can’t be fired. Violations would be criminal misdemeanors.

Current law requires that storage by gun owners living with someone prohibited from having a firearm.

According to sponsors, in 2011, guns killed 997 New Yorkers, including 466 homicides, 505 suicides, 1  unintentional shootings and 14 that were considered legal.

Michael Virtanen

Michael Virtanen joined the Adirondack Explorer staff in March, asked to take an in-depth look at certain places, issues and unanswered questions in the Adirondack Park. He worked previously as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Morgantown, West Virginia, and at the Capitol in Albany for the wire service and for daily newspapers in Albany, Utica and Amsterdam, N.Y. He had been an occasional free-lance contributor to the Explorer and went on some outings with then-Editor Phil Brown, who once led him up the popular rock climb Pete’s Farewell on Pitchoff Chimney Cliff overlooking the Cascade lakes and Route 73 outside Lake Placid.

9 Responses

  1. Ken Lowe says:

    Break down the killings, How many in the city, how many in the North Country

  2. Ron Turbide says:

    As a new subscriber to ADK Explorer, I’m a bit curious as to why this article appears here. I was under the understanding that the Explorer was dedicated to discussing the environment as it applies to the Adirondacks and to relevant issues. In my opinion this is a social issue that doesn’t seem to fit. Does this mean that the Explorer is going to become involved in various social causes or is this article simply a reflection of the authors’s personal predilection on this topic?

  3. Geoff Hewston says:

    Where did those 466 homicides occur? In the city? or some county in particular ?

  4. Richard L Daly says:

    Ditto Ken and Geoff. Double Ditto Ron! I asked this previously in this space. Never got a reply from Editor or Contributor. However, I was asked to donate … again.

  5. Richard L Daly says:

    Ditto Ken and Geoff. Double Ditto Ron. I made similar comments in this space previously. Never got reply from Editor or Contributor. However, I was asked to donate … again.

  6. Michael Virtanen says:

    The National Center for Health Statistics reported 900 firearm deaths in New York in 2016 among 38,658 nationally, among the lowest rates per 100,000 people. An analysis of its data from 2012 to 2016 shows, among counties substantially within the Adirondack Park, 36 in Clinton County, 31 of them suicides during those five years; 25 in Warren County, including 24 suicides; 26 in Herkimer County, including 20 suicides; 20 in Franklin County, all but one suicides; and 18 suicides in Essex County.

  7. Michael Virtanen says:

    New York County, meaning Manhattan, recorded 141 firearm deaths from 2012 to 2016, the data show. It rate was 1.73 deaths per 100,000 residents, lowest in the state.

  8. Jim V. says:

    This legislation, as far as I can tell, involves the waiting period for the purchase of firearms.
    I heartedly agree with a comprehensive background check, especially handguns.

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