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State leaders announce 10-bill package to strengthen gun control

Following the shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, New York State lawmakers are seeking to pass tougher gun control laws.

Attorney General Letitia James also announced action against sellers of homemade gun parts, the components that go into making an illegal ‘ghost guns.’

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Related: Gov. Hochul seeks to raise purchase age for AR-15s

10-bill plan would crack down on social media, close firearm loopholes

On Tuesday, May 31, Governor Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders announced that 10 bills to address gun violence had been introduced in the state Assembly and Senate.

The legislative package is aimed at making sure firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands and taking a closer look at the role social media plays in acts of mass violence.

Notably, New York’s ‘Red Flag Law‘ already on the books did not prevent Buffalo shooting suspect Payton Gendron from legally obtaining the AR-15-style rifle used to carry out the attack. To address gaps in the Red Flag Law, the legislation seeks to expand the list of people who can file an Extreme Risk Protection Order petition against individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others.

It also would make the threat of mass harm an illegal offense and require individuals- minimum age of 21- to obtain a license to purchase a semiautomatic rifle.

Related: Ghost guns: How does Biden plan to regulate them?

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

AG James targets illegal ‘ghost guns’

Attorney General James took action on Wednesday, June 1 to crack down on illegal firearm sellers and those who advertise parts to create homemade, untraceable firearms known as ‘ghost guns,’ according to 13 Wham.

In regards to social media, the 10-bill plan would create a new social media task force in the Attorney General’s office and require social media companies in New York to provide a “clear and concise” policy on how they would respond to “hateful conduct” on their platform.

An investigation by the AG’s office found that 28 firearms sellers across the state advertised ghost gun parts, including nine gun sellers in Western New York and five in Central New York.

Related: Canada introduces legislation to ban handgun sales

Warning letters sent to 28 firearm sellers, including 14 in Western and Central NY

“Ghost guns are fueling the flames of the gun violence epidemic, and we will not sit idly as they proliferate in our streets and devastate communities,” said James. “If gun sellers do not comply with the law, they will face the full force of my office.”

The AG’s office provided the following images of so-called ghost gun parts advertised across the state:

Illegal gun kit advertised for sale online by a Western New York gun shop. NYS AG
Ghost gun release pic2
Illegal, unfinished lower receiver advertised for sale by gun sellers across the state. NYS AG
ghost gun pic 3
Illegal, unfinished frame advertised for sale online by a Capital Region gun shop. NYS AG

The AG’s office issued cease-and-desist letters to the 28 firearm sellers identified in the investigation. In the letters, James reminded gun sellers in New York to knowingly sell unfinished firearms. She ordered these businesses to immediately stop advertising or selling prohibited parts and warned of legal ramifications if the sellers do not comply.

Related: Attorney General James cracks down on gun sellers illegally selling and advertising ghost gun parts