NYSBA Recommends Changes To Combat Gun Violence
To combat the epidemic of gun violence in America, the New York State Bar Association has a comprehensive report with recommendations for legislative reforms.
Governor Hochul’s recent executive order included a NYSBA recommendation that would require State Police to file for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) under New York State’s Red Flag Law whenever they have probable cause to believe that an individual is a threat to themselves or others.
Recommendations call for a nationwide adoption of red flag laws and bans on the possession, sale and manufacture of assault-style weapons, and an extension of the time period for background checks to at least 30 days.
A red flag law, like the one enacted in New York in 2019, allows a judge to issue an extreme risk protection order against someone found to be at risk of harming themselves or others. The order would prohibit that person from purchasing, possessing or attempting to purchase or possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun.
The federal assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 through 2004 included a prohibition on the manufacture of certain semi-automatic weapons with military-style features and according to a 2019 study from the Rockefeller Institute of Government, assault-style rifles were used less frequently in mass shootings during the time.
Defining assault weapons as “high-powered semi-automatic firearms that are capable of autoloading a new cartridge into the chamber after the gun is discharged,” the task force notes that these assault weapons were used in several well-known mass shootings like Sandy Hook, Pulse Nightclub, Las Vegas Country Music Festival and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Federal law states that only people who buy a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer are required to pass a background check and if it has not been completed within three business days, the sale may go through without waiting for the results.
Using New York as an example for the rest of the country, the New York State Bar Association recommends extending the time in which a background check must be completed before a final sale to at least 30 days.
The recommendations of the task force also include:
- Banning large-capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition
- Banning bump stocks and other devices that effectively enable semi-automatic firearms to be fired in fully automatic mode
- Banning firearms manufactured without a license and without a serial number
- Enacting universal background checks for all gun sales
- Requiring gun owners to obtain a license to purchase and possess all types of firearms
Read the full report here.