New York Passes Major Gun Control Legislation

March+For+Our+Lives+demonstration+in+New+York+City
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New York Passes Major Gun Control Legislation

March For Our Lives demonstration in New York City

March For Our Lives demonstration in New York City

Mathias Wasik

March For Our Lives demonstration in New York City

Mathias Wasik

Mathias Wasik

March For Our Lives demonstration in New York City

Amber Gordon, Author

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In an unprecedented victory for gun control advocates, the New York State Legislature passed six major gun bills on January 29, establishing more procedures and regulations on gun usage and the purchasing of arms. The new legislation forbids teachers from bringing guns to school, prohibits bump stocks, and confirms that gun buyers must now wait 30 days when seeking to purchase a weapon if they fail their background check. The “red flag bill” is also included, outlining how family members, school administrators, and law enforcement officers can now appeal to the courts to prevent an individual from purchasing or possessing a gun if deemed suspicious.

“I know that no matter how senseless and no matter how incomprehensible the Parkland massacre was [and] Scott’s murder was, when we pass the red flag law… Scott’s murder will now save lives,” said Linda Beigel Schulman to CNN. Schulman is the mother of Parkland geography teacher, Scott Beigel, who lost his life in the Parkland shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, little gun legislation has been created until now. Due to alarm surrounding the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018, both legislators and citizens are taking a step forward in the prevention of gun violence. In this case, the enactment of this legislation was overall prompted by Schulman’s collaboration, the Democratic or “blue wave” that swept through the recent midterm elections, and the advocacy by citizens, especially young adults who persistently voiced their pleads to lawmakers in search of gun regulations.

While most Democratic legislators support the new legislation, other legislators have expressed their displeasure with the outcome.  Some Republican legislators feel that civilians in New York will take advantage of this legislation to deprive citizens of their right to bear arms as ensured by the Second Amendment.

“Today’s actions infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Republican Senator Pamela Helming told The New York Times.

Despite opposition, Democratic lawmakers have promised to continue to strive for the implementation of more gun control policies, setting this goal at the forefront of their agendas. In response to their opponents, these lawmakers have explained how their motives do not involve repealing the Second Amendment but instead are aimed at ensuring that guns remain out of reach of criminals.

“There has to be a way to allow people who can have guns and should have guns to enjoy their guns, but not have the senseless violence where people who are mentally ill, people who are past felons have guns,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.