Washington, DC — Today, Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, applauded New York State lawmakers for their introduction of a new gun violence prevention package. While the state has worked hard to better protect communities by passing lifesaving legislation, a recent analysis from Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence makes clear that work remains. The report, “The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in New Work,” finds the overall economic cost of gun violence exceeds $5.6 billion a year, with a direct annual cost to New York taxpayers of approximately $433 million.
The New York State Senate Democratic Conference announced the gun safety package today. It contains a number of innovative bills supported by Giffords, including a measure to establish a process for temporarily prohibiting an individual who is a danger to themselves or others from possessing a firearm, and another to ban bump stocks, the dangerous device used in October’s shooting in Las Vegas.
“New York legislators have shown courage and commitment in protecting the state’s families and communities from gun violence,” said Nico Bocour, State Legislative Director of Giffords. “The innovative policies introduced here today demonstrate that New York, once again, is willing to lead when it comes to solving the gun violence crisis in our country. We thank all of the sponsors for their leadership, especially State Senator Brian Kavanagh, and look forward to working with our partners here in New York as we join together to create safer communities.”
The full list the package introduced today can be found here. Among the highlights are:
Establishing an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO): S. 7133 would establish a judicial process to acquire an order of protection so that an individual in crisis would be temporarily prohibited from firearm possession. New York joins other states that have introduced ERPO bills backed by Giffords. Last year, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown signed an ERPO bill into law after members of the Giffords Oregon Coalition testified on behalf of the bill and urged Oregon leaders to pass it.
Ban on Bump Stocks: S. 6902 would ban bump stocks and similar devices that enhance the rate of gunfire. More than a dozen states across the country have begun to take action to pass these dangerous devices that were used in the Las Vegas shooting. That includes Massachusetts and New Jersey where bills were signed into law by Republican officials with backing from Giffords. After the October shooting, Giffords and SiX Action, an advocacy organization committed to achieving change at the state level, released a state legislative toolkit for addressing bump stocks, that details legislative options for lawmakers who want to take action.
Hate Crime Bill: S. 7072 would prohibit someone convicted of a hate crime from purchasing or possessing a gun. Between 2010 and 2014, roughly 43,000 hate crimes committed in the United States involved the use or threatened to use of a gun. Giffords supported legislation in 2017 that Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law, closing a loophole that allowed individuals convicted of hate crimes to possess and acquire firearms within 10 years of conviction.
Investing in Gun Violence Research: S. 4363 would establish a research center to examine the problem of gun violence and present evidence-based policy solutions for addressing it. Giffords is also supporting research and programs to fight urban gun violence in order to help save lives and lessen the economic impact of gun violence. Last December, Giffords Law Center, in partnership with PICO National Network and the Community Justice Reform Coalition, released a landmark report,Investing in Intervention: The Critical Role of State-Level Support in Breaking the Cycle of Urban Gun Violence, which highlights innovative programs in three states, including New York, that dramatically reduce levels of gun violence in impacted communities.
Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.