State legislature eyes new gun laws

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Already some of the toughest in the nation, New York’s gun laws may soon get even stronger.

Democrats in the state Senate passed a package of gun control bills Wednesday, and according to the web site Politico, it includes a “first-in-the-nation attempt to reopen firearms manufacturers to liability for some deaths caused by their products.”

Other provisions would expand the waiting period between purchase and possession of a gun to 10 days.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Executive Director Rebecca Fischer applauds the new legislation.

“Gun violence has continued to spike. So, this is a trend that needs to be addressed. And there’s more that we can do in New York State with our laws to make our communities safer,” she said.

But advocates of the Second Amendment, like Patrick Morse of Lewis County, are frustrated.

“It’s typical, standard operating procedure for Albany,” Morse said. “It feels like we’re always under attack. They’re always attacking the law abiding citizen.”

The bills have to pass the state Assembly as well. The Assembly is also controlled by Democrats, and passage seems likely.

But Will Barclay, (R-Pulaski) leader of the Republican minority in the Assembly, says the majority is simply wrong.

“I think if they really wanted to get to the bottom of what really causes the increase in crime, I wouldn’t be spending time with these gun bills that curb our second amendment rights,” he said.

Barclay points to New York’s criminal justice reforms - like releasing people accused of crimes without bail - as the reason for a rise in crime, while Fischer argues a link between the two hasn’t been made.

Barclay also says it’s possible the Assembly doesn’t vote on these bills this session.

“We don’t have much time left in session. We only have another week to go. So, it’s going to be hard for them to get these bills introduced, get them on the floor, debated and passed.”

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