New York's state gun control laws may soon become the strictest in the country.
In response to the Sandy Hook school shooting in neighboring Connecticut, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday promised to enact the strictest assault weapons ban of any state in the U.S., reports Reuters.
In his annual State of the State address, Cuomo said that gun violence has been on a "rampage" and added, "We must stop the madness" as he outlined his proposed law.
New York already has one of the toughest gun laws in the country. But Gov. Cuomo -- who's a gun owner himself -- has complained that the state's ban on assault weapons has so many loopholes as to make the law basically meaningless, despite its toughness on paper, reports Reuters.
For example, the current gun law bars magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. But magazines produced before 1994 are exempt from the law. Given that it is almost impossible to determine when any particular magazine was produced, Cuomo proposed eliminating large capacity magazines regardless of date of manufacture. Stating what is seemingly obvious, Cuomo said that "Nobody needs 10 bullets to kill a deer," reports Reuters.
Along with the ban on high-capacity magazines, the governor is also proposing requiring background checks for private sales of guns, such as those at gun shows. We've previously written about the gun show loophole which potentially allows anyone to bypass all state laws simply by attending a gun show and buying a firearm.
Perhaps in direct response to the Connecticut shooting (as well as the Colorado movie theater shooting), Cuomo is also proposing laws that would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill as well as prohibiting direct Internet sales of ammunition.
Gun control laws are rapidly changing across the country. There is a strong push for each state to strengthen their measures and many states are expected to update their laws in 2013. If you have questions regarding the gun laws in your state, you may want to contact an attorney.
- New York Is Moving Quickly to Enact Tough Curbs on Guns (The New York Times)
- What Shows Up in a Gun Background Check? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 10 States With the Toughest Gun Laws (FindLaw's Blotter)
- State Gun Control Laws (FindLaw)