Assembly approved gun control package heads to state Senate


The State Assembly passed a package of five gun-control bills with wide support from across the aisle that would ban the sale of bump stocks and keep weapons away from people deemed dangerous on Tuesday.

The bills are now in the hands of the Republican-controlled state Senate, which recently voted against similar gun control measures when the minority attached the proposals to an existing bill.

Included in the package of bills is also a measure to establish a 10-day waiting period before a gun is delivered to a purchaser not yet cleared.

Another measure would prevent domestic violence abusers from having access to weapons.

State Assemblyman Chuck Lavine (D-Glen Cove) said he doubts the bills will even make it to a vote in the state Senate.

“The NRA has too much strength in the Senate,” Lavine said. “To the extent that if you want to find some of these senators you have to put your hand so deep into the NRA’s pocket that you’ve got to brush aside ancient lint and copper pennies to find these senators, that’s how deep they are in the NRA’s pocket.” 

State Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) released a statement in support of similar gun control measures to the ones passed in the Assembly last Monday.

Her statement followed her no vote, along with her Republican colleagues, on the measures when the Democrats tacked them onto the bill.

Though Lavine is doubtful the bills will pass in the senate, he said the bipartisan support  in the Assembly “provided a real ray of hope.”

State Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) said the bills strike a balance between protecting second amendment rights and ensuring public safety.

Ra said the bump stock ban bill was important to help clarify that those devices are not legal in New York State.

Ra said he was also happy to vote for the extreme risk order protection bill, which aims to keep weapons out of the hands of potentially dangerous people because it helps ensure public safety and respects and individual’s due process rights.

“When there are people sounding the alarm that somebody is dangerous to themselves or to others that there would be an opportunity, particularly for law enforcement, to come in and go before a judge and make a case as to why weapons need to be removed from an individual,” Ra said.

Recently, in a meeting with lawmakers from both parties, President Donald Trump suggested taking weapons away before allowing for due process.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said in videos of the meeting.

Ra also noted the school safety bills that the Senate recently passed.

The bills include measures to provide new security funding and increase the availability of school resource officers, improve mental health coordination in schools, enhance information sharing and strengthen penalties for school-based crimes.

He said there are “merits to a lot of those as well,” and added that he thinks both houses will come together and find a common ground in these areas.

Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso (D-Great Neck), who co-sponsored all five bills, said in a statement that the package of bills aims to prevent and reduce gun violence in the state.

D’Urso said that Long Island has had it’s share of gun violence tragedies, noting that it is the 25th anniversary of the Long Island Rail Road shooting.

In December of 1993, Colin Ferguson, a passenger on a Long Island Rail Road train, murdered six people and wounded 19 others as the train pulled into the Merillon Avenue station.

“When it comes to gun violence we need more than thoughts and prayers,” D’Urso said. “It is my hope that thesState Senate will approve the legislation and that other states and the federal government will soon follow. “


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