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The state Senate is taking action to halt the surge in gun violence that has plagued communities in recent months.
State Senator James Sanders and the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican Hispanic & Asian Legislators held a press event in Albany on June 1 to promote its legislation (S7065) that would require a person buying a firearm, rifle or shotgun to undergo a mental examination and give the seller their consent to purchase such a firearm.
“We had a lot of tragic shootings in my district in southeast Queens, [and] across the state and across the nation, it shows the need to take stronger action to prevent gun violence, ”Sanders said. “Mass shootings have become an epidemic in America. Tens of thousands of Americans are killed by gun violence every year. “
Many gun crime perpetrators have mental health problems, Sanders said, and this law is designed to help protect New Yorkers and prevent the death of innocent victims.
More specifically, prior to any sale, trade, or sale of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun at a gun fair by a state-licensed dealer or private sale – even if such sale, trade, or sale between family members – is a buyer of a firearm rifle or shotgun must undergo a psychological examination and prove to the seller his consent to purchase such a weapon.
Sanders’ legislation is one of a series of bills tabled in the Senate to strengthen the Guns Act, which is believed to be the country’s strongest measure. The bill comes when nearly a dozen mayors from across Albany state called for tough new gun laws to be passed before the June 10 legislative session ended.
The Mayors of Albany, White Plains, Sleepy Hollow, Glens Falls and Schenectady were among the signatories of a letter in support of Sanders’ legislation.
“We are at the forefront of the gun violence epidemic. Our neighborhoods are suffering loss of life as well as significant financial consequences, ”wrote the mayors.
They found that, on average, over 3,400 people are shot, killed or wounded in New York each year, with 55 percent of gun fatalities and injuries reportedly as a result of a gun murder or attack. The letter also found that blacks in New York are 15 times more likely to die from gun kills than whites.
In their letter, mayors wrote that gun violence would cost the state $ 5.9 billion each year, of which $ 321 million was paid for by taxpayers.
“Gun violence in the US reflects and reinforces the longstanding racial inequalities in this country. Black Americans make up the majority of gun murders and non-fatal shootings in the United States and are far more likely than white Americans to be victims of attacking gun violence, ”the mayor said in the letter. “Our cities need this tool, and given the federal inaction on this issue, it is up to you, our Legislative Heads of State, to provide it.”