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Sweeping Gun Bills Pass State Legislature

New York lawmakers approved six new gun bills including efforts to ban bump stocks, extend the waiting period for gun buyers who fail instant background checks, and prohibit teachers from arming themselves in schools.

The measures coming Six years after state lawmakers approved the gun control law known as the SAFE Act, easily passed the state Assembly, long controlled by democrats and the Senate where democrats regained control this past election.

“Today, by strengthening our already tough gun control laws, New York has taken another step to push back on this ever-present threat,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “But we cannot stop with this victory, we must continue to fight against the scourge of gun violence. My office is committed to prosecuting those who continue seeking profit from the business of death and to sustaining a proactive approach that will continue taking lethal weapons off of our streets.”

The bills passed Tuesday will extend the waiting period on gun purchases that have been flagged from the current three-day limit to now 30 days. Bump stock devices like the one used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting will be illegal–currently the usage of the devices are banned in NY but not the possession or sale.

People seeking gun licenses who have residences in New York but live outside the state will be required to go through a mental health background check when purchasing firearms. The legislations also allows the creation of a municipal buyback programs allowing people to turn in illegal firearms without legal repercussions.

The most controversial bill is the Red Flag Bill, which prevents people who are “at risk to cause harm to themselves or others” from having or buying gun. The measure allows family members, school officials or law enforcement to ask courts to temporarily block someone from buying or owning a gun, if the judge decided that person posed a potential risk.

The bill is sure to face court challenges.
“Mark my words: red flag gun laws, which allow the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, will only add to the government’s power said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “These laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, are yet another Trojan Horse, a stealth maneuver by the police state to gain greater power over an unsuspecting and largely gullible populace.”

13 States now have red flag laws.

The bills will now go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.