New York State Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, Assembly District 75
Following the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I've joined with my colleagues in the New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention - a coalition of New York lawmakers in the Assembly and the State Senate - to re-introduce legislation to curb gun violence in New York.
New York has been a national leader among the states in enacting some of the toughest, common-sense laws to combat gun violence, like the 2013 SAFE Act that I co-sponsored - but even though our state has the third lowest rate of gun-related deaths, about 900 New Yorkers tragically lost their lives to guns last year.
As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health and one of the first members of NY Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, I know that gun violence is a public health issue - and there is more we can and should do to keep New Yorkers safe.
Among the measures whose passage New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention are calling for are bills to: make background checks more effective by expanding the time to conduct a check from three days to ten days, requiring licensed firearms businesses to report attempts by prohibited individuals to purchase a weapon, and requiring background checks for employees who are authorized to possess or transfer firearms and regulate the possession, sale, and manufacturing of bump stocks and "trigger cranks" that accelerate a gun's rate of fire, create extreme risk protection orders, establishing a new court-issued order of protection prohibiting anyone from purchasing, possessing or trying to purchase or possess a gun if he or she is judged likely to harm themselves or others and prohibit possession of a firearm by anyone who commits a hate crime.
Recent data shows that states with stricter gun regulations, like New York, experience less gun-related violence than those that don't. But with more than one mass shooting per day in the United States, and with about 900 New Yorkers dying from gunshots last year, it's clear that we can and must do more. With majorities in both houses of congress in Washington seemingly paralyzed by the gun manufacturers' lobby, states like New York must take steps to protect our own citizens. That's why I and my colleagues who are members of New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention are renewing our resolve to continue fighting to keep all New Yorkers safe from gun violence.
Richard N. Gottfried, Assembly Member
LOB 822, Albany, NY 12248