Governor Hochul signs stronger gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings

Maya Devi

New York state took another strong step concerning gun legislation, given the recent mass shootings setting a new limit on buying semi-assault weapons, body armor, etc. A new package of gun laws was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

At a meeting held in Bronx, which was attended by lawmakers, including the Mayor of Buffalo Byron Brown, Gov. Hochul signed ten bills to address the gun problem and as a step towards ensuring the safety of the citizens of New York. This has come after two back-to-back incidents, which included ten people being shot at a supermarket in Buffalo and the massacre in Texas where nineteen students and two school teachers were shot.

It includes "red flag" laws that prevent more people from buying a gun and micro stamping for new semi-automatic weapons, enabling tracing a bullet back to the used gun. The age limit to buy a semi-automatic gun has been raised from 18 to 21. The government has urged various social media platforms to maintain transparent policies and report any hate speech noticed on such platforms.

Gov. Hochul said, "This is a crisis, the scale of which requires a national response at the federal level and from every state. But here in New York, we don't wait - we lead. We already have the strongest laws in the nation, but even that's not enough. Because when we see loopholes, we close them. When we see laws that need to be strengthened, we strengthen them. If anyone tries to evade our laws, we stop them because this is a moment of reckoning for us as New Yorkers and Americans."

"For us in Buffalo, this is very personal. We are still hurting. We are still grieving. And we are still in pain from what happened in our community on May 14," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Some of the toughest gun laws are already in place in New York. Hence, the most violent crime guns are found to be handguns and not AR-15s and are not originally from the state. "What drives gun policy are these mass shootings, and these mass shootings are very, very different from the majority of gun violence we see in this country is," said Warren Eller of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Unfortunately, the laws already in force are not helpful in the present scenario. With the unprecedented use of guns, stringent laws need to be implemented. "Gun laws don't work because they only keep the lawful ... legal citizens will obey those laws. Criminals won't obey the laws," Executive Director Tom King said.

The new laws have been backed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.

Such mass shootings have become a matter of grave concern and are causing huge devastation, and are a threat to the safety of the community and the citizens of New York. It has been said that with the implementation of such strict laws, New York shall become a model for other states to follow.

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