Lawmakers are entering the final weeks of the 2015 legislative session in Albany, and NRA continues to focus its efforts on the partial and/or complete repeal of the SAFE Act. We are also actively engaged and working against the hundreds of anti-gun bills that remain in the hopper. Make no mistake, our adversaries are not satisfied with the deeply flawed SAFE Act and continue to push for even more draconian restrictions.
Just this month, the Senate Codes Committee defeated a pair of gun control bills. We successfully opposed a ban on .50 Caliber guns and the mandatory storage of firearms.
Senate Bill 2050, sponsored by state Senator Daniel Squadron (D-26), would have banned .50 Caliber rifles, which are almost exclusively owned by collectors and competitive shooters. Anti-gun legislators have never been able to demonstrate cases where this gun has been used in a crime. This legislation would have zero impact on public safety and would do nothing but add insult to injury to the state’s already beleaguered firearms community.
Senate Bill 2491, sponsored by state Senator Liz Krueger (D-28), would have forced gun owners to lock up guns in the home, which would only give criminals an advantage. This legislation is dangerous and renders firearms useless in self-defense situations. S.2491 would have created six new crimes within article 265 of the penal law in addition to creating felony penalties. Every household is different and firearms storage should be a matter of personal responsibility, not mandated by legislation.
Downstate, anti-gun legislators also continue to push for microstamping legislation, Assembly Bill 6192, introduced by Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. This bill has been successfully defeated for a decade, and there are assurances from the Senate Majority that the bill will not progress through the State Legislature.
Given anti-gun legislators and Governor Cuomo’s commitment to gun control, legislative reforms are going to be challenging to achieve, but your NRA will continue the fight to advance the interests of gun owners and sportsmen. New York gun owners’ also have the option for relief from the misguided gun control laws in the courts. Accordingly, NRA has provided direct financial assistance and legal resources to the lawsuit challenging the SAFE Act.
The Senate Majority recently underwent a leadership change and there at least appears to be a willingness to revisit some of provisions of the SAFE Act. Specifically, NRA is focusing on repealing provisions of this dreadful law that prevent passing along previously legal firearms to family members, and we support a pair of bills to do just that. Senate Bill 3373, introduced by state Senator Patrick Gallivan, authorizes the transfer of legally possessed and validly registered weapons to stay in families through estate planning. Sen. Patrick Gallivan also introduced Senate Bill 3377 which expands “immediate family” language in SAFE Act to include siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. Of course, NRA will continue efforts to achieve a full repeal of the SAFE Act.
NRA is also fighting to end the state’s funding of the ammunition background check database. As a result, we met with legislators during budget hearings in April. In New York, the Governor has broad funding authority, and it is very difficult to block lump sum appropriations. However, we plan to continue to fight this waste of taxpayer money on an unconstitutional infringement, just as we did successfully with CoBis. These are just a couple of examples of how we are targeting SAFE Act reforms in the event that full repeal isn't successful at the Statehouse.
Please continue to follow NRA-ILA alerts for further updates as we continue to fight these battles for law-abiding New York gun owners in both Albany and the courts.