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A closer look at New York State’s gun laws, Obama’s directives

New York already had some of the nation’s toughest gun control laws before the 2013 approval of the Secure Ammunition Firearms Enforcement Act. Highlights of some of New York’s gun control laws, including those expanded in the SAFE Act or previously on the books include:

• Requires mental health professionals to report to local agencies if a patient could pose a serious danger to “self or others.” That information can be used to suspend or revoke a firearms license.

• Requires courts to suspend or revoke pistol permits in certain circumstance, such as if an order of protection is issued.

• Expands definition, for the purposes of sales bans, of what constitutes an assault-style weapon to include, for instance, semiautomatic rifles with features such as protruding pistol grip, bayonet mount, flash suppressor or folding or telescoping scope.

• Prohibits sale or possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

• Requires expanded National Instant Criminal Background Check System reviews beyond just commercial weapons sales to now include private sales of handguns, rifles or shotguns, with exceptions for certain transfers or sales between family members.

• Requires gun owners who live with someone convicted of certain crimes to take steps to secure weapons.

• Creates new penalties for gun possession on school grounds or school bus

• Requires pistol permits to be renewed every five years

• Mandates that people must report within 24 hours to law enforcement the loss or theft of ammunition or weapons

• Requires firearms dealers to obtain a state license

• Requires permits for handgun purchases

Obama’s executive orders vs. New York gun laws

President Obama’s gun control directives:

• Expands criminal background checks before a gun is sold to a buyer

• Makes Social Security medical records of individuals with mental health issues part of the background check review.

• Requires reporting to federal authorities firearms lost in transit between a gun maker and seller

Existing New York State laws governing guns:

• Universal background checks on all gun sales

• Physicians and mental health professionals required to report individuals who represent a threat to themselves or others

• Lost or stolen guns must be reported to authorities within 24 hours.

Additional highlights of Obama’s directives

• Allocates additional $500 million for the treatment of mental illness

• Hiring 230 examiners and other workers at the FBI to reduce backlogs in processing background checks

• Budgets the hiring of 200 new agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to increase enforcement of gun laws