Despite not having passed much in the way of significant gun control laws in the last several years, New York has maintained a reputation as an anti-gun state. With a Governor like Andrew Cuomo in office, that’s not overly difficult.
However, that period of no further infringement on Second Amendment rights in the state has come to an abrupt end.
New York lawmakers on Tuesday approved the most comprehensive set of gun bills in the state in six years, including measures that would ban bump stocks, prohibit teachers from carrying guns in schools and extend the waiting period for gun buyers who do not pass an instant background check.
In total, six gun bills passed easily through the State Senate and Assembly, a remarkable sight in a Capitol that for years had resisted almost all new legislation on the subject.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, last ushered a major gun safety package into law in 2013, after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The governor successfully corralled recalcitrant Senate Republicans into supporting the so-called Safe Act that expanded the state’s ban on assault weapons, tightened certification requirements, increased criminal penalties for illegal guns and closed private sale loopholes.
Tuesday’s marquee gun bills passed largely along partisan lines. No Republican senators voted to extend the waiting period for completing background checks to 30 days from three. Just one voted for the proposal to ban arming teachers.
The most debated item was a so-called red flag bill, which would allow family members, school officials or law enforcement to ask courts to temporarily block someone from buying or owning a gun, if the judge decided that person posed a potential risk.
That provision in particular drew an emotional response from Linda Beigel Schulman, whose son, Scott, grew up on Long Island and was teaching at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. during the massacre there last year; he was killed while helping students flee the shooter.
“Parkland would’ve never happened if they had a red flag law,” Ms. Schulman said while sitting alongside Mr. Cuomo, adding that one of the killer’s former teachers told her that the shooter had showed disturbing tendencies.
Parkland would never have happened if the Broward County Sheriff’s office had done it’s blasted job. After all, it’d been called to the gunman’s house numerous times for domestic violence complaints. Just one arrest and conviction would have barred him from buying that gun for life.
Meanwhile, red flag laws have been used to grossly overreach in several other states and have been linked to at least one fatality.
There has been no doubt that Cuomo will sign any gun control bill that crosses his desk, so the passage of the bills means they’re law.
If that’s not enough for New York residents, it seems state Democrats are already planning the next round of gun control laws to push through. They’re not content with their wins. They want to screw over their gun-owning constituents even more, which is hardly surprising.