The 2016 legislative session entered its third month this week as lawmakers in Albany prepare to address state budget issues during the month of March. Your NRA-ILA has been working the halls of the Capitol this year to make sure no funding is appropriated for the draconian SAFE Act of 2013. In addition, we have been lobbying against additional restrictions on law-abiding gun owners in New York. Despite having passed the SAFE Act, anti-gun politicians continue their onslaught. Each session, there are hundreds of gun bills that are introduced despite the state already having some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
This year, anti-gun lawmakers are pushing a series of bills that will do nothing to improve public safety and will only serve to harass and punish law-abiding gun owners. The Senate Codes Committee has a trio of bills we are strongly working against.
Senate Bill 2050, sponsored by state Senator Daniel Squadron (D-26), would ban .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 force 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 create 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.
Senate Bill 6279, sponsored by state Senator Jeffrey Klein (D-34), was introduced in January of this year and “prohibits persons named on the consolidated “terrorist watch list” from obtaining or renewing a license to carry, possess, repair and dispose of firearms.” There are no advocates for arming terrorists, and this legislation is nothing more than a public relations gimmick to appear that there is a serious nexus between gun control and terrorism. There is not. In reality, this legislation is dangerous in that secret government lists are void of both transparency and due process. It’s a matter of fact that innocent individuals have been placed on these lists, and it is unclear how you know you are on the list and how you remove your name from the list. The suspension of one’s constitutional rights should not happen so casually and without due process, and that’s exactly what this legislation does.
NRAsuccessfully blockedS.2050 and S.2491 in the Senate Codes Committee in 2015. These bills are still viable, and carried over to the 2016 session. We will continue to work against these bills and several others.
Please continue to check your email inbox and www.nraila.org for updates as the session progresses.