State Senators Brian Kavanagh (L) and Brad Hoylman (R) with NYAGV’s Rebecca Fischer.

New York made significant progress in its efforts to reduce gun violence when the State Assembly and Senate approved six bills on January 29.

New Yorkers Against  Gun Violence and other gun safety groups had advocated for these bills, which included:

1. Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO/”Red Flag”) Law S2451 (Kavanagh)/A2689 (Simon)–Empowers family and household members, law enforcement, and school officials to petition a court to suspend access to guns of a person in crisis. Since mass shooters and victims of suicide often exhibit dangerous behavior before fatal shootings, this law will prevent gun deaths and injuries. The law allows the individual in crisis due process, since a judge would determine whether or not the person needs to be prohibited from buying, selling, or possessing firearms on a temporary and potentially long-term basis.

2. Background Check Extension S2374 (Gianaris)/A2690 (Paulin)– Extends the number of days from three to 30 days allowed for law enforcement to complete a background check and confirm approval before a New York gun dealer can sell to a purchaser.

3. Bump Stock Ban S2448 (Sepulveda)/A2648 (Fahy)–Prohibits the possession, manufacture, transport and disposition of rapid-fire modification devices, also known as “bump stocks.” Bump stocks were used by the Las Vegas mass shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

4. Ban on Arming Educators S101A (Kaminsky)/A1715A (Griffin)– Prohibits schools (K-12) from arming teachers, administrators, or any other person not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer, or security officer. This prohibition will prevent gun deaths and injuries that may occur with more guns in schools.

5. Out-of-State Mental Health Records Check S2438 (Kaplan)/A1213 (Hunter)-–  Authorizes a check of home-state mental health records of an out-of-state resident who applies for a New York State gun permit and requires the applicant to authorize the release of records.

6. Gun Buyback Program S2449 (Mayer)/A2685 (L. Rosenthal)–Directs the New York State Police to develop a statewide standard for gun buyback programs, replicating programs successfully operating in other municipalities.

“Today, New York’s lawmakers demonstrated true leadership by passing sensible, life-saving measures to prevent gun violence across our state,” said Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.  “Our leaders understand that New Yorkers need more than condolences to keep our neighborhoods, homes, and schools safe.  We need to keep guns away from people in crisis, not guns in our classrooms.  We applaud the Governor, the Majority Leader, the Speaker, the bill sponsors, and our broad coalition fighting to save lives.  Together, lawmakers, advocates, parents, young people, survivors, faith leaders, educators, law enforcement, and health professionals helped push these bills across the finish line,” she added.

NYAGC’s Rebecca Fischer speaking in Albany.

Before the vote, NYAGV’s Rebecca Fischer and other gun safety advocates joined Governor Cuomo’s press conference where he discussed his gun safety agenda.