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Curran: Public Safety Victory Outweighs Limitations in New Gun Law

NYS Assemblyman Brian Curran reflects on the passage of the NY SAFE Act.

New York became the first state Tuesday to pass comprehensive gun control laws in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE Act), passed quickly in the Senate and Assembly, where it received a 104-43 vote, and was then signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

After casting his vote in favor of the stricter gun measures, Assemblyman Brian Curran (Lynbrook, 21st AD) released the following statement:

"Over the past 30 days, I have been speaking with many constituents, parents and grandparents about their demand for legislation which keeps guns out of the hands of mentally-ill individuals, reduces the number of violent crimes with illegal hand guns and provides a safer environment for our children. This legislation accomplishes those three goals.

In only a few months, we have seen brutal acts of violence perpetrated upon innocent children, first responders and our communities.  The violent culture of our society is reaching unacceptable heights.  We, as lawmakers, are required by virtue of our office and our own conscience to get those with mental illnesses the care they need and provide the oversight necessary to make sure that tragedy does not befall our nation again, as it did Newtown, Conn. and upstate in Webster. 

The NY SAFE Act expands Kendra’s Law, which grants judges the authority to require people who meet certain mental wellness criteria to regularly undergo psychiatric treatment as a condition to live within the community, and provides a mechanism to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill.

As horrific as an attack perpetrated on our children ever could be, the idea that our first responders could be targets for deranged criminals is harrowing. Those who are responsible for protecting and rescuing our children and families from crisis situations need to be protected. The NY SAFE Act provides stronger penalties for criminals who purposefully attack our first responders.

Additionally, the NY SAFE Act significantly increases criminal penalties for those individuals who possess illegal firearms. This law also closes several loopholes including the “straw-man purchase” that allows illegal guns to be transferred.

Since Newtown, parents within my district have been consumed with making sure our schools are safe. Under the NY SAFE Act, school districts will now be receiving an extra 10 percent of the state’s portion of building aid to make schools safer. This aid may be used to install metal detectors, hardened doors, security cameras and security systems. This smart solution provides immediate relief to our schools in providing a safe learning environment.

This law sought to expand the already existing New York State Weapons Ban of 2000, focusing primarily on attachments to firearms, including magazine capacity restrictions. I have always been a staunch advocate of Second Amendment Rights previously voting against microstamping in 2011 and 2012. However, both federal and state courts have consistently ruled that the Second Amendment is not an absolute right. Upon review, I found that this bill, in terms of assault rifle gun control, places reasonable limitations in our Second Amendment rights but at the same time provided us with additional protections in public security and safety of our children will be augmented.

By no means are all aspects of this bill the absolute panacea to violent crime in New York State.  The Assembly Minority Conference was successful in removing the original sections of this bill, which included: firearm confiscation; confiscation of ten-round clips; statewide registration of firearms; permit information which is obtainable by freedom of information requests; firearm purchase limits and microstamping.  We also held the line on tougher criminal penalties on crimes committed with illegal weapons and an extension of Kendra’s Law, which keeps a close eye on those with a history of mental illness who could become violent in nature.

With the passage of the NY Safe Act, I feel it is very important to point out that there were many factors that contributed to the tragic events of Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo. and Portland, Ore..  We, as a country and as a state, should heed these tragedies as warning signs of the violence we have allowed to consume our culture. Our children are being bombarded on a daily basis with violent images to a point they are numb to the realistic effects of violent acts. In addition to taking responsible action, we as a society must also start to acknowledge and reduce the unacceptable level of violence and violent images that pervades our present day culture.  

I am the father of three children, and their safety is at the forefront of my thoughts on this issue. We took a leap in regard to gun control today; but that leap will make tomorrow safer for our children and our communities."

What are your thoughts on the new gun control laws? Tell us in the comments section below.

Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I cannot know what the assailants would have done because I can not think that way as I do not have evil within my soul. One could assume they would just bring 6 guns which is easy to do if your intent is evil, instead of the few they did. Speed of fire is irrelevant when you are shooting at unarmed defenseless people with no where to go and no way to defend themselves...... Have you ever considered WHY these horrific events always happen in "Gun Free Zones" and the movie theater in which this happened was not the only one playing "Batman" on screen and was further away from the shooter home as there were closer ones but this one was posted "Gun Free" Keep reading on the 2nd Amendment, with a comment like that you need to!
Mark reyes January 18, 2013 at 02:39 PM
So Tom, last week in California when one student was shot with a rifle, how many do you think would have died if he had a bushmaster?
Nicholas Lancia January 18, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Tom hit it on the head moral decay we have had guns like these for about a hundred years BAR is one.but never had problems like this. Justice Scalia would bring his 22 rifle on the subway in NYC to school they had a range in the basement. The way Norman Rockwell painted firearms was the way America looked at the gun respect,admraration and responsibly.A part of our society has changed and not for the better we.People who value gun rights are not clinging to our guns we feel were exercising our rights as free people. What we have is the enve of the world the right to bear arms is unique to us and the Swiss. Macaveli said the Swiss are fully armed and fully free.
Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Mark, Really? By the very definition any gun used to assault someone is an assault weapon, the rifle in this case was used as an assault weapon No? A bushmaster was not...... If so, you maybe correct in your assumption but maybe not be because your playing with scenarios that did not occur. Do you know all the details of this shooting? What the intent of this person was , what was his mindset? The simple fact is he is a person who committed a crime and should be held accountable for his actions. Just to bring up an other instance that gets under reported, How about the Mall shooting in Oregon that was kept from becoming another mass tragedy by a LAW abiding citizen with LEGAL concealed hand gun.......... Look if you want to pick and choose that's fine but considering there is more angst and deaths caused from the abuse of alcohol and DWI's then from guns shall we ban alcohol and cars?
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 03:54 PM
No exemptions!!! Retired LEO'S are not above the law. If it's good law for the serfs it's good law for everyone. including mayor bloomberg's body guards. i'm sick of this two tiered system.
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 04:00 PM
One, because what happened in cali wasn't a random action. The shooter was being bullied and was seeking revenge against those who were abusing him. If it was a random event perpetrated by a psycho, he could have killed more. shotguns are extremely lethal in close quarters like schools. the teachers talking into putting the shotgun down. thankfully he did. do you think anyone could have reasoned with james holmes in aroura?
Mark reyes January 18, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Justice Scalia, the most conservative justice of all was the most critical on the assault weapons issue. The NRA is not doing the supporters of the Second amendment any favors with there rhetoric. Alot of people support the right to bear arms, however most of them don't see the need for assault weapons and high magazine clips. Let the Republicans in congress back the NRA. The American public will be there judge.
Mark reyes January 18, 2013 at 04:10 PM
And lets not forget Reagan's support of the 1994 ban.
Mark reyes January 18, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Guy's, stick up for the guns all you want. We could go on with this for hours. We will let the american public be the judge on this in the voting booth. Good luck!!!
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 04:16 PM
that's right we will. all the people, not just the sheeple that live in downstate ny.
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 04:18 PM
NY SAFE goes well beyond an AWB. Perhaps you should read it.
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 04:20 PM
They are called magazines, use the word "clips" only exposes your ignorance.
Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Mark, Again whether or not one agrees the need for certain magazines those that don't do not need to own them but no matter what a magazine holds 5, 10 or 100 in the hands of a responsible, law abiding gun owner they are as much of a threat to public safety as is a stick of gum! btw I really would suggest boning up on the subject and not get all your information from Cable News..... Fyi to stymie... there are a lot of us downstate that get it
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM
@ Tom. You wouldn't think so, as the virtually all of the downstate republican representatives in the assembly and the sentate voted yea for this crap.
Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 05:45 PM
@ Styime like it or not the downstate and upstate cultures are two different worlds and density of population favoring downstate which tends to swing to a more liberal slant. I believe the manner in which this bill was presented from what I have determined they had little choice but to try and water it down from its original state, a political strategy or an unfortunate political reality of you will, I believe some that voted Aye will come to regret at election time. One should ask why, if the Republicans have a mathematical minority did this bill needed to be bum rushed? Was it a lack of confidence on the part of the Governor or did he just knock the Republican party to minority status for a decade? You decide....
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 06:11 PM
How hard did they try to water it down? Not very. I've never seen a bill pass into law so fast in Albany. It takes them months/years to pass a budget and that's what they are actually elected to do. Yet this knee jerk hysterical legislation is signed into law in hours. I smell a rat. NYS doesn't need two democratic parites, one is more than enough thank you very much. Perhaps it's time to join the Libertarian party and let the Republican party go the way of the Whig party.
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 06:17 PM
@ Tom. It would have been better to have had forced confiscation in this bill. It would have made it easier to fight in court.
Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 06:29 PM
@ Stymie I agree and made that very point to my Senator & Assemblyman, they should have gotten out of the way and given the Governor every thing he wanted.... However that is not the case and unfortunately for them I believe some will pay the price at the ballot box as Republican/Conservative margins are not large downstate and from what I'm reading they have really dug themselves a deep hole.....
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 06:49 PM
@Tom -- other than the left wing press and the left wing govenor and the megalomaniac mayor of nyc, who was beating down their doors demanding this? http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2013/01/citizens_never_asked_what_gun.html
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 07:06 PM
http://www.wgy.com/pages/chuckandkelly.html?article=10702815#.UPbanrFFDfc.facebook
Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 08:23 PM
@ Styime you can post 1000 links with facts and it will be just a waste of energy. If you have standing because of this law than I suggest you join the many Class action lawsuits that are being put together as we speak. Educate yourself on the process because it will be a long one and to Assemblyman Curran's point which he didn't explain very well imho is correct that State's do reserve the right to restrict firearms and are allowed to have a registration system. I believes this falls to the 10th amendment . The question with this law and it's overreach did they go to far, time will tell.... Unfortunately what many fail to realize is that the rights of certain citizens were legislated away in the dark of night and imho under false pretence and they can't see it! That is the most troubling aspect of this entire process because when theirs are legislated away in similar fashion in the dark of night they will be just like law abiding gun owners that woke up one morning and wondered what the he77 just happened? GL
Tom Garrett January 18, 2013 at 08:51 PM
@ Styime This might cheer you up! http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=216303
Stymie Cosentino January 18, 2013 at 09:07 PM
@ Tom. Yeah i'm glad the libtards and their rino enablers aren't able to ruin the rest of the country.
Nicholas Lancia January 18, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Hay all you M1 Garand fans don't put the 8th rnd in that End-block clip you'll be braking Andys law.So it is said so is it written so it is done !
incognito2u January 21, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Ronald Reagan died on June 4th, 1994.....and I DON'T recall any evidence of him supporting the 1994 ban!!!! REFERENCES PLEASE!!!!
incognito2u January 21, 2013 at 02:02 AM
I call Bullshit!!!!
Tom Miccio January 21, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Actually No. The M1 does not have a detachable magazine and is a curio as defined by the law.
Tom Miccio January 21, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Let's remember that New York already had a ten round limitation on magazine capacity which was among the strongest restrictions in the Nation . I find the new seven round limitation both unnecessary and punitive designed solely to enhance the Governor's Presidential aspirations. I also find the definition of an "assault rifle" disingenuous since it appears to be more concerned with the cosmetics of the weapon rather than its function. While the mental health and criminal aspects of this law are laudable, I find , in the main, that this law is more political sizzle than anything else.
Anna January 21, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Thanks, Bobfather -- just signed the petition.
Ben January 31, 2013 at 01:44 AM
The town meeting where Prince Andrew is sending his trained lapdogs around hoping to appease public opinion aren't going well for Andy and his NYSP of inept Flying Monkeys who can't even answer the publics questions on what the law means. Pitiful, Absolutely pitiful

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