May 1, 2018 By Tara Law
A new bill that aims to disclose where guns used in crimes were bought has been introduced in the New York senate.
State Senator Michael Gianaris (D- Astoria, Long Island City) introduced a bill yesterday that would require law enforcement agencies and the state police to release public reports that name the states where guns used in crimes were purchased.
New York has made strides in passing common sense legislation, Gianaris said, but inadequate gun laws in other parts of the country are contributing to gun violence in the state.
“Our problem now is states with lax gun laws,” Gianaris said. “We need to focus our advocacy efforts on those states that are the problem.”
A 2016 report released by the New York Attorney General’s office revealed that 74 percent of guns recovered by law enforcement in New York State were purchased out of state.
The bill, Gianaris said, aims to inform the public about the origins of guns and provide information that gun control advocates can use to target their efforts nationally.
New York’s law enforcement already collects data about the states where crime guns originate, Gianaris said. This bill aims to make the information available to the public in an easy-to-understand format. The data would be disclosed on a quarterly basis.
The information released would not include details about individual gun owners.
“It’s a simple disclosure bill. It doesn’t deny access or take away guns from anyone,” said Gianaris.
Gianaris has a record of being a strong advocate for gun control, and has introduced numerous bills in favor of tighter regulations. Several of Gianaris’ bills are currently being reviewed in committee, including legislation that would prohibit people from purchasing more than one firearm in any 30-day period and establish a 10-day waiting period for background checks.
Gianaris acknowledges that many “good gun safety policies” have been stymied in the past, but said that he believes that the unprecedented national attention on gun violence in recent months has created favorable conditions for this and other bills to gain traction.
The simplicity of the disclosure bill may also to help that bill move forward, he said.
The bill is also not without precedent. The governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, signed an executive order on April 6 that requires the state to release reports that identify the states where crime guns originated. In New Jersey, 80 percent of guns used in crimes were purchased out of state.
Gianaris said that he is hopeful that the bill will gain support in the legislature, and that it is possible to get Republicans on board.
The bill is expected to get support in the Assembly. Several members of the assembly have already come forward to sponsor the bill in that chamber, Gianaris said.