Assemblymember Thiele Helps Passing Crucial Gun Control Measures in Wake of Buffalo and Texas Mass Shootings

Assemblymember Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) announced that he helped pass a series of gun safety bills in response to mass shootings in Buffalo that tragically claimed the lives of 10 people and was perpetrated by an avowed white supremacist, and in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school. The package, which was signed by the Governor on Monday, June 6, helps prevent firearms from getting into the hands of individuals who are a danger to themselves and others by expanding the red flag law, creating the crime of making a threat of mass harm and requiring social media platforms to have a clear and concise policy for responding to hateful conduct on their networks.

“As our nation grieves over these most recent, devastating tragedies, I supported new laws enacted by the Legislature that prevent further carnage in our communities and in our children’s schools, and I commend Governor Hochul for signing them,” said Assemblymember Fred Thiele. “Keeping guns out of the wrong hands by advancing commonsense gun safety measures to protect New Yorkers from the scourge of gun violence should remain a priority of a country where firearm deaths overtake motor vehicle fatalities as the leading cause of death for American children and adolescents.”

The legislative package passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor includes measures that would:

  • require the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to determine if microstamping-enabled pistols are technologically viable and, in that case, establish programs to implement the technology and create the crime of unlawful sale of a non-microstamping-enabled firearm (A.7926-A);
  • eliminate the grandfathering of large-capacity ammunition-feeding devices that were lawfully possessed prior to the enactment of the 2013 SAFE Act or manufactured before 1994 (A.10428-A);
  • make it unlawful to sell or possess body vests for individuals who are not engaged in an eligible profession, such as law enforcement, and require sales of body vests be done in person (A.10497);
  • create a Task Force on Social Media and Violent Extremism within the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the role of social media platforms in promoting or facilitating extremism and domestic terrorism (A.10501);
  • expand the red flag law of 2019 by allowing more health care practitioners to petition the court and requiring police and district attorneys to file an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) upon credible information that an individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to themselves or others (A.10502);
  • require individuals to obtain a license and be at least 21 before purchasing a semiautomatic rifle (A.10503);
  • expand the definition of “firearm” in the Penal Law to include any weapon that is designed or can be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosion (A.10504).