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New York Passes Bill Over Semi-Automatic Firearm Sales

New York Passes Bill Over Semi-Automatic Firearm Sales

The bill passed the Senate along party lines, 43-20, and in the Assembly 102-47

New York has passed a bill to raise the minimum age to buy or possess a semi-automatic rifle to 21, as part of a number of larger package of measures designed to tighten state gun laws. 

The state already requires people to be 21 to own a handgun, but while anyone younger would still be allowed to possess other types of rifles and shotguns under the new law, they would be unable to buy fast-firing rifles like the ones recently used by teen gunmen in Buffalo and Texas

The bill passed the Senate along party lines, 43-20, and in the Assembly 102-47. It will now head to the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature.  

The news comes less than three weeks after an 18-year-old gunman entered a supermarket in Buffalo and opened fire, wounding 13 people – 10 fatally. 

In a statement issued on Thursday, 2 June, Hochul said: "Just last night a deadly semiautomatic weapon was once again used to mercilessly kill innocent civilians, this time at a medical facility in Oklahoma.

"It was a scene all too familiar in this country, one we've seen everywhere from Uvalde, to Sandy Hook, to Parkland, to my hometown of Buffalo. We cannot keep living like this."

Governor Kathy Hochul.

State lawmakers also passed a bill that would ban people from buying bullet-resistant vests - as worn by the Buffalo shooter - unless they worked in specific professions such as law enforcement.

Other measures include: a requirement for new guns to be equipped with microstamp technology, allowing law enforcement to link weapons to fired bullets more easily; a requirement for anyone hoping to buy a semi-automatic rifle to obtain a license; and a requirement for all state and local law enforcement agencies to submit gun crime information to a number of national agencies. 


Hochul's statement continued: "We cannot be satisfied by New York's already tough gun laws.

"Shooting after shooting makes it clear that they must be even stronger to keep New Yorkers safe.

"This comprehensive package will close loopholes, give law enforcement the tools they need to prevent easy access to guns, and stop the sale of dangerous weapons to 18-year-olds.

"I am grateful to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and our partners in the legislature, and I look forward to signing these bills into law.  

"Even as we take action to protect New Yorkers, we recognize that this is a nationwide problem. I once again urge Congress to seize this moment and pass meaningful gun violence prevention measures.

"We have no time to waste."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/Alamy

Topics: US News