There is nothing in this world more precious than our children. Dr. Kathryn Bass and countless others have committed themselves to a lifetime of doing everything within their power to protect them. While the tireless efforts put forth on the floors of the hospitals are important, keeping our children safe in their homes is every bit as integral. Too often, preventable accidents take place which can cost a child their future. We must stand up for them in every arena.
In recent months, New York State has taken necessary steps to keep dangerous firearms out of the hands of the wrong people. New York’s new Extreme Risk (“Red Flag”) Protection Order bill takes effect on August 24, 2019.
The law establishes a court process for removing firearms from individuals who pose a serious threat to themselves or others.
The New York State Assembly is considering legislation that will also close dangerous loopholes in current laws that allow the sale of a firearm under less-than-favorable circumstances. In this instance, bill A00716 relates to eliminating the default proceed firearm loophole by requiring a “proceed” response from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System before a licensee delivers a firearm to any person.
Because modern manufacturing has evolved so quickly, with it the potential for danger has increased. The advent of 3D printing and its innovative solutions have, of course, given rise to the use of the technology to design weapons that are undetectable to metal detectors and also accessories that do not require registration or sale. A00773 Relates to the criminal possession of a firearm or magazine digitally made; classifies such possession as a class D felony.
In addition, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that gun owners living with a child could face a Class A misdemeanor charge if they don’t use a gun-locking device or lock their firearms in a cabinet or safe while the gun is out of their immediate possession.
The charge carries a penalty of up to one year in prison or three years probation and a fine of up to $1,000.
If a gun isn’t locked up while a child is visiting or could otherwise gain access, the owner would face a violation with a fine of up to $250.
There are also several bills in the NYS Assembly that will provide additional safety measures. One of them is number A00425. It enacts the “children’s weapon accident prevention act”: Enacts the “children’s weapon accident prevention act”; creates crimes of failure to store a weapon safely in the first and second degrees, aggravated failure to store a weapon, and criminally negligent storage of a weapon in the first and second degrees; provides affirmative defenses; directs the commissioner of education to develop a weapons safety program.
These efforts have improved safety and brought attention to failures in common sense that have resulted in unnecessary death and injuries to ourselves – and worse – our children. There is more work to be done, of course, and you can help. Contact your state senator. Contact your congressperson. Reach out to the governor’s office. Let them know that you appreciate the work that they have done, and encourage them to remain vigilant in their work, because protecting our future is their job, and it’s our job. We can do it together.