‘Nothing ever changes…except in New York’ – Hochul signs new gun laws
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation late Monday morning to strengthen New York's already tough gun laws.
The new laws include upping the age to purchase semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 and banning the sale of body armor, such as bulletproof vests, to most New Yorkers.
Her actions were sparked by the recent series of mass shootings – including a supermarket massacre in Buffalo – Hochul’s hometown – on May 14 allegedly inspired by the shooter’s racist ideology. On May 24, a shooter killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“It just keeps happening,” said Hochul. “Shots ring out and nothing ever changes – except here in New York.”
The signed legislation also includes:
- Health practitioners will have the power to report potentially dangerous individuals with an expansion to the “red flag” law
- Banning the use of large-scale ammunition magazines in the state
- Closing loopholes to prevent firearms from being altered
- Microstamping semi-auto pistols to aid law enforcement
Hochul said before the signing that gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the United States.
“This is a crisis that requires response at the federal level and each and every state,” she said. “Here in New York, we won't wait. We lead.”
In addition, to the bill package that was signed into law, the governor is also creating a task force to target words of hate and domestic terrorism spread on social media.
Just this weekend alone, 15 people were killed and 60 more were injured in eight states. That includes a former judge in Wisconsin who was killed in what authorities called a “targeted attack.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown was among the many elected officials at the event. He said that “hate will not win.”
“This day of action is about making sure it doesn't happen in New York state,” he said.
Lawmakers in the city say they plan to keep the pressure on Congress to come up with a national response to the gun violence.