Hallelujah! New York gets tough on guns.
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Gun-rights advocates opposed the bill. The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association issued a statement denouncing the legislation, saying that New York gun owners “should be ashamed and afraid of our state,” according to The New York Times. “These gun-control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime,” the NRA said.
No doubt, you’ll hear a great deal about the bill in the coming weeks. As the first gun-control measure passed in Sandy Hook’s wake, it will be both lauded and denounced across the country. There will be much misinformation. So if you’re wondering what, precisely, the legislation does, here are its key provisions, straight from Cuomo’s website.
• Mental health alert. Under the measure, doctors, psychologists, nurses or clinical social workers will be required to report to local health officials when there is reason to believe a patient is likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to themselves or others.
• Tougher assault weapons ban. New York had already banned assault weapons, but the legislation more strictly defined such weapons and implemented an immediate ban.
• Stronger regulation of ammunition. New York will have the strongest ban on high-capacity magazines in the country, with a limit on capacity of seven rounds, down from the current limit of 10.
• Universal background checks. The legislation will require all gun transfers among private parties, except immediate family members, to be conducted by a federal firearms licensee and to be subjected to a National Instant Criminal Background Check.
• Webster provision. The murder of a first responder who is engaged in his or her duties will become a Class A-1 felony, with a mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole. The provision honors two first responders who were killed in the line of duty in Webster, N.Y., in December.
• Keeping guns out of schools. Possession of a firearm on school grounds or a school bus will be bumped up from a misdemeanor to a Class E felony.
Parts of the bill will take immediate effect, others over time.