NY Lawmakers Want Five Year Handgun Licenses
Tom O'Mara wants people to make up his mind:
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In upstate New York, your gun permit is good for life.
But a downstate Assemblywoman and Senator want to change that. Because of the shootings in Binghamton, they're pushing for five year gun licenses. Current laws also don't require a review of a gun owner's criminal history or mental health check after they receive their permit.
But they would under this bill. The hope is to take guns out of the wrong hands and prevent more innocent lives from being lost. Last August, Tanisha Davis lost her husband Maurice Davis. He died in his sleep after a man fired shots at Hathorn Court in Elmira. A stray bullet pierced the wall of their apartment.
Authorities say that man didn't have a legal gun permit. Tanisha doesn't think five year handgun licenses would have prevented what happened to her husband. But she says she's for stronger gun laws.
"I believe legislation could help. I believe it could only help, if it's going to make it harder for people to have guns," Says Tanisha Logan-Davis, Widow. The Binghamton Police Chief agrees the new legislation could only help. However, he says it's hard to say if it would have stopped the deadly rampage 3 weeks ago.
A Vietnamese man walked into an immigration center with two legal hand guns, fired 98 shots in a little over a minute, killing 13 people. Weeks after the incident, New York State lawmakers will vote on several measures to strengthen gun control laws, including renewing hand gun permits every 5 years.
The law would not affect gun owners who own rifles and shot guns because they do not currently need permits for those. Local National Rifle Association member, Mark Whitney says the new law will be too expensive for law abiding citizens who use a hand gun to protect their family.
"We have a very stringent fire arm laws in New York State, we need to enforce the laws we have, not add more that become burdensome for legal gun owners in New York State. We have done nothing wrong," Says Marc Whitney, NRA Member. Some permit holders say making it easier for more law-abiding citizens to get hand guns could prevent deadly incidents like the one in Binghamton.
"That guy, if he went in there and there was a legal gun owner in there that legal gun owner could of stopped that tragedy because he would of legally possessed a fire arm and legally taken care of business," Says Bischoff. The bill's sponsor says it's expected to pass in the assembly next week.
A vote hasn't been schedule yet in the senate. New York State Senator George Winner says he will not vote for it. Neither will New York State Assemblyman James Bacalles. Assemblyman Tom O'Mara says he's undecided. Handgun Permit Process Under New York State law, getting a hand gun permit is already a lengthy process.
First you submit an application to the local sheriff's office, where a background check is done. All of that will be sent to Washington, D.C. for a federal background check. Then the application is sent back to the sheriff's office. Finally, the county judge either approves or denies it. The whole process takes about 3 months and will cost you about $200.
Massa Opposes New Gun Laws
At the federal level, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are urging President Barack Obama to re-instate a 90 day retention period for background check records.
Right now, those records are held only 24 hours. Democratic Congressman Eric Massa says he opposes any new gun regulations. "I want a well thought out discussion with deliverable results instead of a knee-jerk reaction that calls for more gun control regulation, which I don't support," Said Eric Massa (D-US Congressman). Massa thinks there are already enough federal gun control regulations on the books.