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.’
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.
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.
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.”
My office is ordering 28 gun dealers in New York to immediately stop selling and advertising ghost gun parts.
We found that these dealers were selling ghost gun parts on their websites and at gun shows even though it’s illegal to do so in New York.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) June 1, 2022
The AG’s office provided the following images of so-called ghost gun parts advertised across the state:
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
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