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RELEASE: Lawmakers, Advocates, Students Call for Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Legislation


Contact: Rebecca Miller
New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention and Assemblymember Kavanagh

Contact: Rebecca Fischer
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
212 679 2345│


Albany, NY—State legislators today joined New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and nearly 200 students from its anti-gun-violence education youth program, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and other advocates to call for enactment of laws intended to prevent gun violence in New York State. The lawmakers are members of New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, chaired by Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh.

Building upon the success of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, which instituted background checks on all gun sales along with a variety of other gun safety measures, the legislators and advocates announced a series of new initiatives in key areas, including: enabling police and family members to obtain “extreme risk protection orders” from courts to restrict access to guns when someone poses an imminent risk; requiring safe storage of guns, particularly to prevent children from gaining access; improving the efficacy of background checks; and other policies that would reduce gun violence across New York State.

“We’ve made great progress strengthening and enforcing the laws that make New York one of the most successful states in American at preventing gun violence,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, Chair of New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention. “But we know that there’s still too much gun violence in New York and across the country, so we are proposing a variety of innovative ideas—based on the best available research and the work of our colleagues in other states—in our continuing effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands and protect New Yorkers from preventable tragedies.”

Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said, “We stand together with New York lawmakers, advocates, and students to urge support for life-saving gun safety legislation. This legislation will keep guns away from individuals in crisis, protect children from unintentional death, and improve our state’s background check system. At a time when Congress is pursuing federal measures that could increase the flow of guns into our communities, it is essential that we preserve and strengthen our state laws. We are here today with students who have tragically lost loved ones to gun violence. NYAGV's education program has empowered them to stand up and take positive action, and we ask the New York State Legislature to do the same to protect New Yorkers.”

“Despite New York having the most comprehensive gun control laws in the country, criminal access to guns is only as prohibitive as what surrounding states allow. A regional consensus must be met in order to curb the import of illegal weapons,” said Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, who is sponsoring legislation to create an interstate agreement to reduce gun trafficking.

Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee said “New York must continue to lead the nation in passing common-sense gun laws. We owe it to our children, our families, and our communities to reduce gun violence and protect public health and safety. As a longtime advocate for sensible gun laws, I have introduced micro-stamping legislation (A5826) that would require all semiautomatic pistols manufactured on or after January 1, 2018 to be capable of producing a code on each cartridge case that can identify the make, model and serial number of the pistol. Micro-stamping technology is designed to discourage gun trafficking and to aid law enforcement officials investigating homicides and other crimes by allowing them to trace firearms to their original purchasers through cartridge cases found at crime scenes.”

“There’s a lot more New York can and should be doing to protect communities from gun violence,” said Senator Daniel Squadron. “I’m proud to carry legislation to curb gun access for hate crime perpetrators, ban weapons of war, as well as support crucial measures to better protect our communities. Thank you to Assemblymember Kavanagh and New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention along with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) and Americans for Responsible Solutions.”

“Gun violence against individuals is an epidemic. Undetectable guns should be banned. They have no purpose but to assault people,” said Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti, who sponsors legislation that would restrict the manufacture, sale, or possession of such guns.

“I am strongly committed to keeping guns from falling into the wrong hands through legislation, education, and activism,” said Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright. “My number one priority is the safety of our children, families, and neighbors. I am proud that the 19th precinct in my district is actively participating in the Buy Back Program for operable handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and air guns.”

Senator Jose Peralta said, “For far too long, the presence of illegal guns on the streets has taken too many lives away from us, destroying families and entire communities. Sadly, every day we are reminded of the tragic consequences of gun violence here in New York and across the nation. We must ensure we work together to mitigate the effects of gun violence, and an important part is pushing for gun violence prevention laws and programs. I want to thank all those involved in bringing gun violence prevention legislation to our State, initiatives that include bills that I have introduced in the Senate for several years.”

Senator Michael Gianaris said, “Across our nation, Americans are fighting every day for common sense gun safety measures to end the epidemic of gun violence. As a state that has suffered through more than its share of gun-related tragedies, it is important that we protect our citizens and act on the need for more sensible gun laws. I am proud to support these proposals that will make our communities safer.”

“Common sense gun safety laws are essential to making sure our community is a safe place to raise a family,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald. “Truly universal background checks on guns would severely limit criminals, and those suffering from mental illness, from gaining access to firearms. This can be enacted well within the bounds of the Constitution, and would go a long way to reducing gun violence in our nation.”

“New York State has worked hard to prevent gun violence, but we still need to close troubling gaps in the law such as strengthening background checks and relinquishing guns in domestic violence cases. New York should also create a research institute to examine the causes and impacts of firearm violence and provide scientific evidence on which to base effective prevention efforts. For far too long, there has not been adequate investment in research on firearm violence,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, who sponsors legislation to create a firearm research institute.

"In fighting gun violence it is important that we recognize the underlying factors that give rise to this epidemic,” said Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “The introduction of varied legislation allows us to combat this scourge that is responsible for the loss of lives and increased aggression. It is important that we present a united front and work together if we are to eliminate this threat to our communities."

Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell said, “We must work diligently to prevent gun violence across the state, including in circumstances of domestic violence. Fifty-four percent of female homicides are committed with a firearm and two thirds of all women killed with firearms are killed by their male partners. Prohibiting domestic violence abusers from obtaining a firearm will protect the lives of their partners and limit the number of domestic violence incidents that escalate to a fatality from the use of a gun.”

“As a former correction officer and as your representative in the Assembly, I will always fight to keep Brooklyn residents safe,” said Assemblymember Pamela Harris. “That’s why I’m joining my fellow legislators in fighting for common-sense gun reform to combat the violence that plagues neighborhoods like ours across the state. Despite the intensely partisan nature of debates around gun reform, I strongly believe that there are solutions that everyone can support to curb gun violence and protect our communities.”

Nico Bocour, State Legislative Manager for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the national organization launched by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, said: “We applaud the New York lawmakers who used their voice today to stand up to the gun lobby and call for some commonsense legislation that protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners, keeps guns out of dangerous hands and saves lives. We know states with stronger gun laws are safer places to live. By providing clear processes for families and law enforcement to keep guns out of the hands of people who are experiencing a mental health crisis, requiring gun owners to safely secure their firearms and closing the loopholes in New York’s background check system, New York’s lawmakers have an opportunity to reduce gun violence. We urge the New York State Legislature to bring these responsible bills up for a vote and help make New York a safer place to live.”


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