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Legislators set to tackle gun control over NRA objections

ALBANY — Before closing down next week’s session on Tuesday, state lawmakers are expected to pass a number of gun control measures over lobbying by Second Amendment groups like the National Rifle Association.

On the list is a ban on rapid-fire bump stocks, devices that can be placed on semi-automatic weapons to increase firing speed. Such bump stocks were used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting massacre. The Trump administration late last year imposed a federal ban on the devices.

New York’s Safe Act gun control law bans the attaching of bump stocks to weapons. But it does not ban the sale or possession of the devices, which the new bill will do.

The package will also create a “red flag” provision, permitting family members, schools, police officers and district attorneys to seek a court order blocking the purchase or possession of weapons if they are deemed an “extreme” risk to others or themselves. The Legislature’s measure is nearly the same as Cuomo’s red flag plan in his recent state budget, though it limits it to school officials who could bring court petitions to principals.

The gun package will also create a Firearm Violence Research Institute within the state university system. It will be charged with studying gun violence, as well as education and training programs, and making recommendations to state officials for other potential laws controlling gun possession and use.

Cuomo, a gun control advocate, has also proposed versions or identical efforts that lawmakers in the two houses have tentatively agreed to pass next week. “That makes sense,’’ Cuomo said Thursday of one measure he's offered to increase the waiting period for a gun purchase from three to 10 days for people who do not immediately pass a background check.

But the plan lawmakers are set to consider next week would raise that period from the current three days to 30 days. Presently, a dealer must deliver a gun to its purchaser if the background check is not performed within three days. The new plan extends that to a full month. Lawmakers say many background checks can be done at a store while a consumer waits, but this builds in 30 days for checks that might take longer.

Lawmakers are also considering a ban on “ghost guns,’’ which are those that can get through some standard metal detectors, such as 3D weapons. It would prohibit the sale, possession or manufacturing in New York of such defined guns, and seek to limit online instructions for making 3D weapons.

There are also new “safe storage” rules being considered — such as making it a Class A misdemeanor for gun owners who fail to properly store weapons if they live in a house that includes anyone under the age of 16 — and the creation of a gun buyback program by the State Police.

Officials Thursday cautioned that some of the gun measures are still being negotiated and could change by next week when lawmakers return to Albany.

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