New York Legislature Passes New Gun Control Measure

New York’s Assembly has passed the toughest gun control law the nation has seen since the Sandy Hook school shooting last month.

The law calls for a tougher assault weapons ban, as well as provisions to keep guns away from mentally ill people who make threats.

The bill was passed by the Senate on Monday night and supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, reports CBS News. Cuomo is expected to sign the measure soon.

Cuomo stated on Monday of gun violence:

“This is a scourge on society. At what point do you say, `No more innocent loss of life’?”

The measure passed the Assembly by a vote of 104-43 and received bipartisan support. It also calls for stricter regulations on ammunition and the sale of guns. Senator Jeffrey Klein, a Bronx Democrat, stated when the bill passed Monday:

“This is not about taking anyone’s rights away. It’s about a safe society… today we are setting the mark for the rest of the county to do what’s right.”

Under New York’s current law, assault weapons are those that have two “military rifle” features, like a folding stock, muzzle flash suppressor, or a bayonet mount. The proposal states instead that an assault weapon has one of these features. It also adds in the popular pistol grip.

CNN notes that the tentative deal would also include a statewide gun registry and add a uniform licensing standard across the state. It would alter the current system, in which each county or municipality is responsible for its own standard.

It is not clear what affect the new measure will have on the state’s already strict gun control approach. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan described the state’s existing regulations as “the toughest gun laws in the United States. Callan added of the new measure, “The changes in New York are largely cosmetic.” He added:

“The one change that arguably will have the greatest impact is the amendment to Kendra’s Law, which will permit closer monitoring of the mentally ill.”

The new law would also require New York’s mental health professionals to report their patients to the state if they exhibit behavior that suggests they will harm themselves or those around them.

What do you think of New York’s new gun control measure?