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Legislators Look to Change Gun Permit Laws
April 22nd, 2009

Two legislators say the bill that they are proposing could have prevented the shooting rampage that claimed 13 lives in Binghamton earlier this month. Sen. Eric Schneiderman of Manhattan and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Westchester will meet at the steps of City Hall tomorrow at 2 p.m. to announce legislation that would require handgun owners to renew their licenses every five years.

The legislators say the bill will allow law enforcement officials to consider factors such as criminal acts, mental health issues or other relevant factors that could determine whether an individual should be allowed to own a gun. Paulin said she compares the measure to the recertification that drivers have to go through every few years to get new licenses. “We license automobiles because they can be used as a deadly weapon,” said Paulin. “People’s eyesight can change, their coordination can change.”Paulin said that guns are the only thing that New York State licenses that do not require renewal.

Supporters of the legislation point to the recent mass shooting in Binghamton, committed by Jiverly Wong as reason for the bill. They say that had Wong been required to renew his handgun license every five years officials might have learned of indicators that would have disqualified him. Some of those indicators could have included tips to law enforcement officials that Jiverly was planning to rob a bank.
Some areas of New York already require that permits be renewed or recertified periodically. “We have seen in the Binghamton incident that people change,” said Paulin.

In New York City handgun permits expire after only three years. In Westchester permits must be recertified after five years, and in Nassau and Suffolk counties gun owners must renew their permits every five years.

Gun control activists support the measure, and Jackie Hilly of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence will be present at tomorrow’s press conference. Gun-rights activists oppose the bill. They call it unnecessary” and are expected to push Republican legislators to do their best to defeat the measure.

“Binghamton was a rude awakening,” said Paulin. She said she hoped the incident would show her fellow legislators from both sides of the aisle that making handgun owners get re-licensed every five years is only a common-sense measure. She would not say whether she expected any Republicans to back the bill.”The bill will pass in the Assembly,” said Paulin.

The bill made it out of the Assembly Codes Committee earlier this week and the Assembly is currently scheduled to vote on it on Monday. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has made his support of the bill very clear.

“Gun permits must have expiration dates,” said Silver in a statement. “With today’s action by the Assembly Codes Committee we are one step closer to requiring every county in New York State to follow the practice currently in place in New York City and Long Island. For more than a decade the Assembly has advanced comprehensive, common-sense gun safety legislation. I plan to bring this bill to the floor for a final vote in the coming weeks and urge the Senate to join us in adopting this critical piece of legislation.”

A spokesperson for Schneiderman said that he had seen that a number of new cosponsors had signed onto the bill just today. He said he hadn’t noticed whether any of the signatures belonged to Republicans. He also said that the Senate has a busy schedule, and he was not sure “on a time frame” for the bill to come to a vote.

NY1 reported today that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is currently reviewing the proposed legislation but he “supports the concept of requring the renewal of gun licenses”

By on April 22, 2009, 4:35 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “Legislators Look to Change Gun Permit Laws”

  1. Bondsman Says:
    April 22nd, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    All or nothing as far as rights go if you let one right parish others will follow, control is the reason. There are those that will tell you but we only want a little change and they keep chipping away till all is lost. This administration will seek to get gun control through the back door of the UN through a world wide transportation ban with small riders in it and if the Senate passes it then we would be on the road to losing our rights in the second amendment. But those of you that think that it will stop there are wrong those in power are in quest of a New World Order in that everyone would have the same rights or in fact lack of them. So rally against gun rights and for control and you will find that those other rights that you hold dear are gone. You will be like the suicide bomber giving away your life for and idea that will cost you more in the long run than you will be willing to pay your cost will be freedom, liberty and your independence. As for gun control you may get what you ask for but not what you want.

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