Friday, May 01, 2009

Proposed New York Gun Laws

(Albany, New York) The controversy regarding "microstamping" of bullet casings continues among New York lawmakers. The issue has been raised before but never signed into law.

However, the microstamping bill is just one of a number of gun control measures being addressed this week.
The bills under consideration also create new rules for gun storage and weapons safety classes, require guns be childproof, require background checks for pawn shop gun purchases, prohibit bullets designed to fragment upon impact, ban weapons of .50 caliber or larger and empower courts to revoke gun licenses of individuals considered a threat to the public.
Gun advocates say the bills just harass legal gun owners while doing nothing to stem the illegal use of guns. The measures have failed in previous years but, with the Democrats surging into power last fall, there is worry that some may be passed into law.

The microstamping requirement seems to be gaining some support since it presumably can help solve crimes by providing evidence of which gun was used during a felony shooting. It passed the Assembly by a 94-47 vote. Nevertheless, opponents say microstamps can be easily defeated by filing away the code on the firing pins so all they do is increase the cost of manufacturing.

Interestingly, research on the current microstamping technology has not been convincing. Results are inconsistent from manufacturer to manufacturer, the codes on firing pins can be easily removed with household tools and the firing pins can be replaced. Add to those difficulties the fact that legal gun owners using their guns legally now have to keep an accounting of all their spent brass for fear that someone will pick them up to drop at a crime scene.

Busloads of pro and anti-gun activists were in Albany yesterday to plead their cases but they were a day late since the measures were voted on late Tuesday.
About half the bills, which range from requiring gun permits be recertified every five years to requiring semi-automatic handguns "microstamp" shell casing with an ID number, had passed by early evening. The rest were also expected to pass, as they have done in past years.
The Assembly also passed a bill to make it illegal to possess or sell .50-caliber weapons.

Next, the bills go to the Senate for more debate. Given that New York is infested with liberal Democrats, it's possible that some of the measures will ultimately get through the Senate and go to Gov. Paterson for signature.

Incidentally, California Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill requiring microstamping on all semi-automatic pistols in October 2007. The law becomes effective 1/1/2010. Strangely, law enforcement officers are reportedly exempted from the microstamping requirement.

No comments: