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New York: Session Almost Over – Your Legislators Need to Hear From You Now!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New York: Session Almost Over – Your Legislators Need to Hear From You Now!

Contact Your Legislators About Numerous Gun Bills immediately!


With the 2017 Legislative Session quickly winding down, your lawmakers need to hear from you now in opposition to S.5447 by Sen. Brad Hoylman.  While the bill is titled “extreme risk protection orders” there is actually no requirement to show “extreme” behavior for issuance of these orders, and the threshold for obtaining these orders is actually quite low (probable cause).  Rather than demonstrate a “substantial risk” that a person is a threat, the bill only requires a petitioner to demonstrate there is a “likelihood” that the person may engage in conduct that would result in serious harm.  However, the bill doesn’t require mental and/or medical evaluations, thereby ignoring underlying causes, and it does not address access to other deadly weapons such as knives, chemicals/drugs, vehicles, etc.  

This legislation is also very broad in several critical areas.  It expands the scope of who can report individuals beyond family members to include any police officer, district attorney, family or household member.  In other words, former roommates could petition.  The duration of the order is up to a year, but any order may be renewed indefinitely, opening the door to a lifetime ban on firearms possession.  These orders can be issued ex-parte, or in the absence of the respondent. 

The bill creates a number of inconsistent and illogical procedures.  For example, even if a petition for a temporary order is denied, the respondent must return for a hearing on a final order, at their own expense.  And, the filing for a temporary order is relevant in the second hearing, even if the temporary order was rejected. 

Once an application for an order has been filed, law enforcement are required to do a background check to verify if any firearms purchases have been made and report to the court, even if the order is denied.

After firearms are seized, return of lawful property could prove to be exceedingly difficult under this bill.  Firearms are not automatically returned.  Respondents must file costly and time-consuming petitions to have their property returned, and the bill does not clearly specify a timeline for when those guns must be returned.  Even more troubling, the bill would allow for the destruction of firearms without compensation if they are not returned in a certain time period. 

Please contact your state Senator and respectfully request that they oppose S.5447.

*****

A trio of bills which would benefit New York Sportsmen are working their way through the New York Legislature, but need your help to secure passage.

S.2923 by Sen. Patrick Gallivan would remove the requirement that hunters wear backtags.  This regulation only exists in a couple of states.   Removing this requirement would simply eliminate an antiquated regulation that only serves to subject hunters to arbitrary citation.  A.619 by Assemblyman David DiPietro is the Assembly version of the bill and is stuck in committee.

S.3156 by Sen. Joseph Griffo would lower the universal hunting age from 14 to 12.  This legislation would remove an important barrier to introducing hunting to young sportsmen.  A.477 by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther is the Assembly version of the bill and is currently in committee.  Both Senate versions have cleared the Senate, however, A.619 and A.477 face an uncertain future in the Assembly.  Please contact your Assemblyman and respectfully request that they move both the Assembly bills.

Finally, S.4769A by Sen. Diane Savino redefines the definition of a "gravity knife" in NY statute. New York City has been using the current gravity knife statute to claim that almost any common pocket knife is a “gravity knife,” resulting in thousands of arrests every year of regular folks who are simply carrying the common pocket knife they carry every day. This bill is necessary to help protect hunters, fishermen and other sportsmen from being arrested for carrying their everyday pocket knife when they travel to New York City.  It has already passed the NY Assembly 136 - 1 and is ready for the senate to vote. Please call your state Senator and ask them to support S.4769A, and ask them to have the bill placed on the “active list” so it can be voted on in the final few days of the session.  

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.