In the final days of this year’s legislative session, I worked with my colleagues to pass several crucial measures to help protect our communities. In the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, the legislature passed, and Governor Hochul signed into law, common sense gun safety reforms that will help prevent firearms from getting into the hands of individuals who are a danger to themselves and others. Building on New York’s 2019 Red Flag Law, this legislation allows more health care practitioners to petition the court and requires police and district attorneys to seek an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) when credible information shows an individual to be dangerous (Ch. 208 of 2022). Other measures require law enforcement to report seized and recovered guns to the national criminal database, raise the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle to 21 and require a license to buy it, eliminate the grandfathering of high-capacity magazines, close a loophole in the definition of firearms to include certain converted devices, and criminalize the purchase and sale of bulletproof vests to anyone outside an eligible profession (Ch. 207, 209, 210 and 211 of 2022).
Whether on the streets or online, New Yorkers deserve to feel safe. That’s why the package also addresses hate speech and threats across social media. The legislation criminalizes behavior that threatens mass harm, requires social media companies to provide an easily accessible method to report hateful conduct on their platform, and creates a Task Force on Social Media and Violent Extremism within the state Attorney General’s Office (Ch. 206, 204 and 213 of 2022).
In light of the Supreme Court’s reversal of long-standing reproductive rights, we strengthened the right to safe reproductive health care in New York and ensured that our health care practitioners can continue providing essential services to patients without legal or professional repercussions. I helped pass several new laws that will protect New York physicians from professional misconduct charges and adverse action from medical malpractice insurers for caring for patients from states where reproductive services are illegal and prohibit law enforcement from participating in any out-of-state investigation regarding the provision of reproductive services in New York (Ch. 220, 221 and 219 of 2022). I also helped pass the Equality Amendment, which strengthens discrimination protections for all New Yorkers by ensuring the state Constitution protects individuals against discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, religion or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, as well as pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and reproductive care decisions (A.41002).
Finally, my colleagues and I returned to Albany at the end of June for a special session to address the Supreme Court decision that invalidated, after over one hundred years, New York’s concealed carry law. I helped pass legislation that implements new live-training requirements as part of the concealed carry licensing process and expands the list of crimes that would preclude a person from being eligible for a concealed carry permit (Ch. 371 of 2022). These new safety standards establish a uniform statewide policy for obtaining a handgun license. The bill also requires safe storage of firearms in households with a person under 18 years old and prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons in certain sensitive locations.
I’m working to make Western New York a safe place to live, work and raise a family. If you have questions about this or any other community issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 716-634-1895 or McMahonK@nyassembly.gov.