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Giffords Applauds New York Assembly for Passing Package of Bills to Make State Safer from Gun Violence

March 6, 2018 — Today, Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, applauded New York State Assembly lawmakers for passing an important gun violence prevention package.

Giffords joined Assembly leaders and a coalition of advocates at a press conference prior to the New York State Assembly passage of this gun safety package today. The package 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, a bill to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and legislation to ban bump stocks, the dangerous device used in October’s shooting in Las Vegas.

Earlier this year, Giffords released an analysis outlining the economic cost of gun violence in the State of New York. While New York has strong gun laws, more can be done to done address gun violence in the state as the overall impact on families, communities, and businesses exceeds $5.6 billion a year, with a direct annual cost to New York taxpayers of approximately $433 million.

“New York has leaders that understand how the gun violence crisis continues to hurt the people they represent,” said Nico Bocour, Giffords State Legislative Director.“We applaud the New York Assembly for not wavering and passing a gun safety package that can cement New York’s position as a leader in passing legislation to save lives. These innovative measures will protect New York families and communities from gun violence by keeping guns away from those at risk of harming themselves or others and out of the hands of domestic abusers. While Congress refuses to act, states like New York understand the importance of showing courage – and acting. We urge the Senate to follow suit and pass these bills.”

Among the highlights are:

  • Establishing an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO): A. 8976B 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.
  • Ban on Bump Stocks: A. 9958 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.
  • Strengthen Domestic Violence Laws: A. 5025 would add domestic assault and battery to the list of serious crimes that prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing a firearm.