How They Voted: Gun Controls

Click to listen to this post.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signs a law on July 1 that restricts concealed weapons. (Governor's Office)

Gov. Kathy Hochul signs a law on July 1 that restricted concealed weapons. (Governor’s Office)

Below are summaries of recently enacted gun-control laws and the votes cast by Republican Sue Serino (whose Senate district includes the Highlands), Democrat Sandy Galef (whose Assembly district includes Philipstown) and Democrat Jonathan Jacobson (whose Assembly district includes Beacon).

Concealed carry

On July 1, Gov. Kathy Hochul enacted legislation designed to address a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that invalidated New York State’s concealed-carry laws. The law takes effect on Sept. 1. An appeals board for applicants whose license or renewal applications are denied or revoked will begin operating on April 1.

Among other provisions, the law:

■ Expands requirements for concealed-carry permits to include character references, firearm safety courses and live fire testing. The law will redefine “good moral character” for applicants, who must show “the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others.” 

■ Adds “sensitive areas” where firearms are banned to include places where cannabis is consumed; polling places; colleges and universities; conference centers, banquet halls and casinos; and public protests. The list also includes airports, bars, emergency shelters, entertainment venues, government buildings, medical facilities, houses of worship, libraries, public transportation, Times Square and other locations. 

■ Weapons will be banned on private property by default unless the property owner says otherwise, which the governor’s office says “gives power to business and property owners to decide whether they want guns in their establishments. Property owners who do decide to allow concealed-carry will have to disclose with signage saying concealed carry is allowed on the premises.”

■ Raises the age at which guns must be secured from 16 to 18. That is, if any resident of a home is 18 years or younger, firearms must have trigger locks or be stored in a locked cabinet or safe. In addition, the law makes it illegal to leave a weapon in a vehicle unless it is in a lockbox.

■ Allows the state to conduct background checks for license holders and ammunition sales that go beyond federal requirements.

■ Redefines “body vest” to close a loophole that excluded hard armor. During the Buffalo killings, the alleged shooter was wearing a steel-plated vest.

Passed by Senate, 43-20 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 90-52 | Galef Yes  Jacobson Yes

Restrictions

On June 6, Hochul enacted laws designed to restrict access to weapons. The new regulations include those that:

■ Require individuals to get a gun license to purchase a semi-automatic rifle. Under existing state law, individuals must be at least 21 to obtain a gun license.

Passed by Senate, 43-20 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 102-47 | Galef Yes Jacobson Yes

■ Ban the purchase of body armor by anyone who does not work in law enforcement or a similar job. 

Passed by Senate, 55-8 | Serino Yes
Passed by Assembly, 105-44 | Galef Yes Jacobson Yes

■ Expand the professions that can file an “extreme risk protection order” (or red flag) for an individual who may be dangerous. It now will include physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses, social workers, therapists and counselors who have examined the person within the previous six months.

Passed by Senate, 49-14 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 119-30 | Galef Yes Jacobson Yes

■ Eliminate a provision that made it legal to possess large-capacity ammunition feeding devices if they were obtained before the NY Safe Act went into effect in 2013 or were manufactured before 1994.

Passed by Senate, 43-20 | Serino No
Passed by Assembly, 106-43 | Galef Yes Jacobson Yes

Leave a Reply

The Current welcomes comments on its coverage and local issues. All online comments are moderated, must include your full name and may appear in print. See our guidelines here.