After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred in 2013, the state senate passed the SAFE Act which requires that background checks be run on anyone seeking to buy a firearm. In light of the Parkland school shooting in Florida, Gov. Cuomo wants to extend the current three-day waiting period to 10 days. But NRA board member Tom King is against the proposed measure and blames school shootings on government entities who have failed to do their jobs.
According to the New York Daily News, King also serves as the president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSPRA). He said that the onus of school safety falls on the shoulders of the state and the other agencies responsible for conducting exhaustive background checks. King said that they should enforce the laws that are already on the books.
“If the state and everyone else is doing their jobs, there wouldn’t even be a need for a waiting period,” King said.
Because current guidelines only require the three-day wait, it is possible that critical information about a prospective gun owner may not be found before the weapon is delivered to the buyer. Cuomo is working to make sure that the measure is included in the ongoing state budget talks which will end on April 1. A member of the governor’s administration told the Daily News that their goal is to do whatever it takes to “keep guns out of the hands of people” who are “too dangerous” to own them.
The day after the Parkland school shooting, the NYSRPA posted a scathing commentary about the level of security in the schools on their Facebook page. The organization compared it to the measures taken to protect elected officials and government buildings.
Several questions were posed including one where the author wanted to know what makes the lives of politicians more important than those of children. The NYSRPA made the argument that school safety is the state’s sole responsibility and that legislation should be passed to secure the children.
King and the NYSRPA are not the only ones who oppose the extended waiting period. Gov. Cuomo’s proposal is being met with resistance from Senate Republicans. The Daily News reported that several bills have already been passed to improve school safety, but the Republicans want the policy proposals addressed separately from the budget talks.