Dec. 27, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a Queens senator’s bill into law that requires the state to publish a quarterly report about the origins of guns used in crimes — including who purchased them and where.
The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Michael Gianaris, aims to crack down on guns being transported into New York from other states. It was signed into law by Hochul Wednesday.
The legislation requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services and New York State Police to report on where a firearm was bought if it was used in a crime in New York state. Furthermore, the report must include information as to whether the perpetrator had a license or permit to possess the firearm.
Gianaris said the bill will keep tabs on the “iron pipeline” of guns being trafficked into New York from other states. The iron pipeline refers to the process where criminals purchase guns in states with less restrictive gun laws – usually in the south — and smuggle them into states such as New York and New Jersey.
Around two-thirds of the guns used in crimes in New York were brought in from other states, Gianaris said in a statement, citing a 2015 New York Times report.
“Despite having among the toughest gun laws in the country, our state experiences too many gun-related deaths due to firearms originating elsewhere,” Gianaris said. “While the federal government will not take action to combat gun violence, New York should use data to expose states that are part of the problem.”
The signing of the bill was welcomed by activist groups that aim to end gun violence.
Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said that guns trafficked into New York from other states plague communities and take lives every day.
“This new law will improve accountability and transparency, revealing the states responsible for the senseless gun violence impacting New Yorkers,” Fischer said.
Meanwhile, Melissa Gallo, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action, said that having origin information on guns used in crimes is very important.
“[It] can help us gain a fuller understanding of the scope of the gun violence crisis, the impact of interstate gun trafficking, and what actions we must take to ensure the safety of New York communities,” Gallo said.