Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Announces Passage of Gun Buyback Legislation in Assembly and Senate

January 29, 2019

Albany, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF- Manhattan) today announced that her legislation to establish and fund municipal gun buyback programs was today passed in the New York State Assembly and Senate. The legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Shelley Mayer.

“Today the Assembly took another historic step in strengthening New York’s strongest-in-the-nation gun laws. Every gun we can take out of a community is a gun not later used to inflict harm in that community,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Gun Buyback programs have a long history of providing safe pathways for residents to voluntarily, and free from threat of prosecution, dispose of their firearms, and today we took steps to ensure New Yorkers statewide benefit from this model.”

The municipal gun buyback program legislation establishes a designated funding stream for buyback programs, and designates the New York State Police to establish a regulatory framework for all such programs. The legislation makes explicit that anyone turning in a firearm to such a program will be immune from certain criminal possession charges.

“Firearms have long flooded into circulation under the surveillance of law enforcement, and while we work to close those access points, we must further incentivize a flow of firearms going the other direction, away from our streets. Hundreds of guns have been collected across the state through gun buyback programs already, and with passage of my legislation into law we stand to expand upon the success and viability of this model. When our gun buyback programs are successful, our kids are kept safe, our family and friends are kept safe, and communities statewide are the beneficiaries.” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan). 

"Today is an historic day for the people of New York State. Thank you to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for your fearless leadership and for prioritizing laws that protect our families and communities from the scourge of gun violence," said State Senator Shelley B. Mayer (SD-37, Westchester). "I am especially proud that a bill I sponsored, inspired by the City of Yonkers’ Gun Tip Hotline, was a part of this package. The bill establishes guidelines and regulations aimed at strengthening existing gun buyback programs as well as provides for the creation of a gun buyback fund to allow for additional participation. Too many families have experienced the deep grief of losing a loved one due to gun violence. Today we begin to turn tragedy into policy. Thank you to the extraordinary efforts of advocates throughout the state, especially Moms Demand Action and the Nolan family of Yonkers for their commitment to making this day finally happen. Thank you also to my colleague Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal for championing this bill in the Assembly."

The gun buyback legislation passed as part of a comprehensive gun safety package, passed in both the Assembly and Senate today, that included legislation to ban bump stocks, strengthen background checks, further limit firearm possession on school grounds and to create extreme risk protection orders.