MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 12, 2021

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State Senate Passes Hoylman/Rosenthal Bill Cracking Down on “Ghost Guns”

State Senator Brad Hoylman (photo provided by Avi Small)
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Last Wednesday, the State Senate passed legislation sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side)  to crack down on untraceable “ghost guns”.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation has seen spikes in gun violence and gun sales. We’ve also seen an increase in the proliferation of ghost guns, which are homemade, unregistered firearms that lack commercial serial numbers. According to a ProPublica report, the “Boogaloo Boys”, an alt-right militia group, have embraced ghost guns as their weapon of choice.

The Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act would criminalize the sale and possession of ghost guns in New York, ensuring that law enforcement has the means to track all gun sales and manufacturing throughout the state.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, traditional gun sales hit record highs and ghost gun retailers reported sky-high demand,” said Hoylman. “New Yorkers need to be protected from these dangerous weapons, and that’s why I’m proud to sponsor the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act with Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. Our bill will ban the sale and possession of ghost guns and ensure law enforcement has the necessary tools to track the manufacture and sale of all guns in New York.”


Jackson Speaks at City & State NY Panel on Tax Reform

State Senator Robert Jackson (Photo Credit: nysenate.gov)
State Senator Robert Jackson

Last Wednesday, State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) spoke at a City & State New York virtual panel on helping the City recover from the pandemic via tax reform.

Jackson is currently sponsoring a bill that’s part of a larger legislative tax reform package, dubbed the “Invest in Our New York Act”. His bill, the Personal Income Tax bill, would raise $12-18 billion in tax revenue by raising taxes on those making more than $300,000 a year.

“Instead of saying, ‘we’re only going to tax the super rich,’ anyone earning $300,000 or more would have to help the family survive,” said Jackson. “As a family member, we want everyone to pay their share. And that’s what this is about. We want to make sure that, when all is said and done, when we do this budget, we have enough billions to take care of all of our needs.”


Maloney, Advocates Introduce Gun Safety Package

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Photo credit: maloney.house.gov)
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

Last Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) joined gun safety advocates to introduce a gun safety legislative package.

The package consists of five bills:

  • The Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act, which would criminalize firearm trafficking and impose harsher penalties on straw purchasers;
  • Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, which would require that all sales and transfers at gun shows are reported to the Attorney General;
  • NICS Review Act, which would instate a 90 days retention period to allow the FBI to audit the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS);
  • Firearm Risk Protection Act, which would ensure that liability insurance covers medical expenses due to gun violence;
  • And the Handgun Trigger Safety Act, which would force handgun manufacturers to start personalizing their weapons, so that only authorized users can operate them.

“As the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting approaches this Sunday, we are called to honor all victims of gun violence with action,” said Maloney. “There is no honor in failing to take action on gun safety. There is no honor in buckling to the will of the NRA and refusing to act to save lives. Thoughts and prayers are not enough – in fact, they are meaningless when not backed up by doing the work to effect real change. And so today, I am introducing a comprehensive gun safety package of five bills that would deliver on our promise to honor with action.”

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