NEW YORK - Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, are prompting Gov. Kathy Hochul to back 10 new proposals strengthening New York's gun laws. Democrats, who control Albany, plan to push these measures through before the legislative session ends on Thursday.
One bill requires someone to be at least 21 and get a license before they can own a semiautomatic rifle in New York. Another bill, introduced by state Sen. Brad Hoylman, requires weapons to be able to micro-stamp ammunition.
"Passing comprehensive gun legislation is quite literally a matter of life or death, and part of this package includes our legislation to require gun manufacturers and dealers to implement micro-stamping technology, which adds a trackable serial number to spent ammunition," Holyman said. "So literally when a gun is fired, the casing will be inscribed with a code that can then be tracked back from the scene of say a crime to the gun that actually fired the bullet."
Banning the sale of body armor to civilians is also on the table. David Pucino, the deputy chief counsel for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, explained why.
"This kind of tactical gear is intended for these offensive circumstances and shouldn't be available to civilian populations," Pucino said. "So what this bill is going to do is going to limit the sale of body armor to folks who have a need for it because of a profession, such as law enforcement officials."
Other bills call for expanding the so-called red flag law in an effort to make it easier to take guns away from dangerous people before they commit a crime.
Former NYPD Lt. Darrin Porcher applauds lawmakers' efforts after these recent mass shootings. However, he believes until federal laws change whatever happens in Albany won't be enough to reduce gun violence.
"The problem that we have is state legislation is not national legislation. When we have national legislation, there are far more teeth," Porcher said, "because you can acquire a firearm from a state that has far looser gun laws and bring a firearm to New York."