New York's Senate has passed a major gun control bill on Monday evening in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo's attack on the Second Amendment during his state of the state address earlier this month. Now the bill is set to move to the Assembly where it will be voted on for passage and if so, sent to the governor's desk to be signed into law.
The measure passed by a vote of 104-43. This bill would require all owners of firearms that are classified as "assault weapons" to register them with police.
New regulations imposed upon law-abiding firearms citizens include:
– Limiting magazines to seven bullets (down from the national “standard” of 10)
– Making unsafe storage of so-called assault weapons a misdemeanor
– Outlawing internet sales of assault weapons
– Requiring retailers that sell ammunition to register with the state, run background checks on purchasers, and maintain a database of all sales
– Mandating mental health therapists report their patients if they made a credible threat to use a gun illegally (the police would then confiscate the firearm)
On Monday night Governor Cuomo said, "This is a scourge on society. At what point do you say, `No more innocent loss of life'?"
"This is not about taking anyone's rights away," said Sen. Jeffrey Klein, a Bronx Democrat, when the bill passed the Senate late Monday night. "It's about a safe society ... today we are setting the mark for the rest of the county to do what's right."
"It is well-balanced, it protects the Second Amendment," said Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos of Long Island. No it does not. It infringes upon the rights of citizens to have the proper weapons to maintain a well regulated militia according to the Second Amendment.
To demonstrate just what these gun grabbers are after, Governor Cuomo said he wanted quick action to avoid a run on assault weapons and ammunition.
Thankfully, there was at least some voices of reason. Assemblyman Steve Katz said legislators were being "bullied." He said the bill is "solely for the governor's egotistical, misguided notion."
Republicans argued the bill wouldn't stop mass shootings or other gun crimes. They said all the legislation would do is turn law-abiding citizens into potential criminals.
Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco said the bill was "dangerous" because it would give people a "false sense of well-being."
"You are using innocent children killed by a mad man for own political agenda," he said. "You are actually making people less safe."
UPDATE: Natural News writes that the bill also would require psychiatrists to report patients so that law enforcement can confiscate your guns.
Psychiatrists must report patients "who could potentially harm themselves or others." If such a patient owns a gun, it will be confiscated.
This means a comprehensive data base, accessible by law-enforcement personnel and anyone else involved in doing background checks These "problematic" patients will be kept from buying a new weapon, too. Otherwise, the law would have no teeth.
As usual, the devil is in the details. Psychiatrists will err on the side of caution and report many patients. No shrink wants to blink into television cameras after one of his patients has just shot his father.
Patients who want to own weapons will lie to psychiatrists about their thoughts and feelings, never admitting they're considering suicide or murder.
I told you all about being careful for calling on government to determine issues of mental health.
UPDATE: Cuomo signed the bill into law on Tuesday. Associated Press reports,
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Jumping out ahead of Washington, New York state enacted the nation's toughest gun restrictions Tuesday and the first since the Connecticut school massacre, including an expanded assault-weapon ban and background checks for buying ammunition.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law less than an hour after it won final passage in the Legislature, with supporters hailing it as a model for the nation and gun-rights activists condemning it as a knee-jerk piece of legislation that won't make anyone safer and is too extreme to win support in the rest of the country.
"Common sense can win," Cuomo said. "You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense."
Owners of an estimated 1 million previously legal semiautomatic rifles, such as the Bushmaster model used to kill 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., a month ago, will be allowed to keep their weapons but will have a year to register them with police. The sale of any more such weapons is prohibited.
"When there's a pileup of events, when the federal government does not do it, the state of New York has to lead the way," said state Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, a Brooklyn Democrat and co-sponsor.
In addition to outlawing a broader array of military-style weapons, the measure restricts ammunition magazines to seven rounds, down from the current 10, creates a more comprehensive database of people barred from owning guns, and makes New York the first state to require background checks to buy bullets. The system will also help flag customers who buy large amounts of ammo.