"We are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws, Gov. Andrew M....

"We are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declared in signing the measure into law. Credit: Marcus Santos

ALBANY — New York state law now requires a longer waiting period for some background checks when purchasing firearms and bans “bump stocks,” which can allow a single-shot rifle or shotgun to shoot faster.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law on Monday the bill, which was strongly supported in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

New York’s latest gun control law concerns the federal background checks required when purchasing a firearm. The National Criminal Background Check System used by the seller can immediately approve, deny or delay the sale. A delay has required a waiting period of up to three days to approve the sale, based on the buyer’s criminal background check. The new state law will allow up to 30 days to complete the background check.

If the FBI fails to approve the sale after 30 days, the sale will be stopped, according to the new state law.

“This law will build on our already strong gun laws by ensuring that law enforcement has sufficient time to complete a background check without impinging on the rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Assemb. Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale). “According to the FBI, they just need more time to do their job to keep guns out of the wrong hands."

The new law also bans the ownership or sale of bump stocks, which can be attached to rifles and shotguns. Bump stocks are spring-like devices at the end of a gun stock that take advantage of the recoil to allow a shooter to pull the trigger faster. Machine guns and assault weapons are already outlawed in New York.

The law covers any “rapid-fire modification device,” including bump stocks. Similar devices that are banned under the law include trigger cranks that are levers operating in a circular motion to allow triggers to be pulled repeatedly, binary trigger systems that shoot when a trigger is depressed and again when it is released, and burst trigger systems that allow two bullets to be shot when pulling the trigger once, according to the bill.

Criminal possession of the devices is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. Manufacturing of the rapid-fire devices is a Class E felony, punishable by two to five years in prison. Transporting or shipping the devices is now also a Class E felony.

“We are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws — banning devices whose sole purpose is to create the most bloodshed in the shortest time frame and providing law enforcement the tools they need to stop firearms from falling into dangerous hands,” Cuomo said Monday.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, which is associated with the National Rifle Association, called the measures “feel-good legislation.”

He said in an interview that the state’s extension of a federal waiting period could be challenged in court and the state could be overstepping its authority to alter a federal process.

King also said bump stocks were more strictly regulated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms before New York’s bill was introduced. He said the federal government uses a high-cost permit to make sure the alteration is allowed to be possessed only by lawful firearms owners and collectors. King also said bump stocks make rifles and shotguns wildly inaccurate, making them unlikely to be used in mass shootings.

“What’s always ignored are the statistics and where murders are coming from and where all the violence is coming from and it’s not a case of the lawful gun owner doing it,” King said. “Politicians are always passing laws that are doing nothing, but making them feel good and making it possible for them to ignore the real causes like gang violence, drugs, and poverty in inner cities. And there are mental health issues.

“They are doing the easy things,” King said. “That doesn’t make anyone safer.”

Latest videos