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SAFE Act

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S2230 - SUMMARY

Enacts the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act 

S2230 - SPONSOR MEMO

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the criminal procedure law, the correction law, the
family court act, the executive law, the general business law, the
judiciary law, the mental hygiene law, the penal law and the
surrogate's court procedure act, in relation to suspension and
revocation of firearms licenses; private sale or disposal of firearms,
rifles or shotguns and establishing a minimum age to possess a
firearm; to amend the family court act, the domestic relations law and
the criminal procedure law, in relation to providing for the mandatory
suspension or revocation of the firearms license of a person against
whom an order of protection or a temporary order of protection has
been issued under certain circumstances, or upon violation of any such
order; to amend the penal law, in relation to community guns and the
criminal sale of a firearm and in relation to the definitions of
aggravated and first degree murder; to amend chapter 408 of the laws
of 1999 constituting Kendra's Law, in relation to extending the
expiration thereof; and to amend the education law, in relation to the
New York state school safety improvement teams; and in relation to
building aid for metal detectors and safety devices

PURPOSE:

This legislation will protect New Yorkers by 

deterring the criminal use of firearms while
promoting a fair, consistent and efficient method of ensuring that
sportsmen and other legal gun owners have full enjoyment of the guns
to which they are entitled. A thoughtful network of laws provides the
toughest, most comprehensive and balanced answer in the nation to gun
violence. Through this legislation, New York is the first in the
nation to completely ban all pre-1994 high capacity magazines; to ban
any magazine that holds more than seven rounds (rather than a limit of
ten) and to both track ammunition purchases in real time to permit
alerts on high volume buyers, while also checking on the buyer's
background.

In a range of reforms the bill attends to the weaknesses in the
state's current regulatory structure to bring a consistency and
rationality that must be the cornerstone of a safe society. A single
standard across the State will ensure that legal gun owners obtain
their licenses expeditiously while those prohibited are denied that
privilege. A statewide database will keep the registry current and
guard against the dangerous or unstable possessing guns. New rules
will close a loophole that excludes private sales of guns from a
federal background check; tighten provisions governing gun ownership
by persons with serious mental illness; require safe storage of guns
for gun owners who live with someone who has been convicted of certain
crimes, is under an order of protection, or who has been involuntarily
committed as a result of a mental illness. The bill also creates new
and enhanced penalties for illegal gun use, and enhances protections
for victims of domestic violence by requiring the firearm surrenders
and gun license suspension and revocation in cases where an order of
protection has been issued.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Ammunition

Section 38 of the bill amends Penal Law § 265.00(23) to ban all large
capacity magazines that have the capacity to hold more than ten rounds
of ammunition including those that were grandfathered in under the
original  ban and creates a new ban on magazines that
hold more than seven rounds of ammunition. Magazines that can hold
more than seven rounds but not more than ten rounds and are currently
possessed will be grandfathered in, but may only contain seven rounds
of ammunition. Exceptions are made for large capacity magazines that
are curios or relics.

Section 39 also adds a new section to Penal Law § 265.00 to define
seller of ammunition.

Section 50 of the bill enhances control over sales of ammunition by
adding a new Penal Law § 400.03 requiring (1) that sellers of
ammunition register with the superintendent of the State Police (2)
that prior to a sale of ammunition, a seller must run the buyer
through a State-created review of disqualifiers to ensure that the
buyer is not prohibited by law from possessing ammunition, and (3)
that ammunition sales are electronically accessible to the State. In
addition, to prevent from purchasing ammunition, the bill requires
that any ammunition sold commercially must be conducted by a seller
that can perform a background check.

Private Sales

Under current NE law, background checks on gun purchasers are
required for all purchases of guns from gun dealers and at gun shows.
Section 17 will expand this requirement by adding a new article to the
General Business Law requiring background checks to be completed for
all gun sales, except for immediate family. Thus private sellers may
transfer a gun only if the buyer has obtained a federal "NICS" check.
Further, dealers must maintain records of private sale background
checks, and private sellers may charge a fee of up to $10 on a
transaction. Transfers between immediate family members will be exempt
from the requirements of this section.

Safe Storage

To prevent, among other things, unauthorized and unlicensed use of
guns, section 47 of the bill adds a new Penal Law § 265.45
establishing safe storage requirements for rifles, shotguns and
firearms. Under this new section, a gun owner who lives with someone
who the owner has reason to know is prohibited from possessing a gun
because the prohibited person has been convicted of a crime punishable
by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year, has been adjudicated
mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, is subject to
a court order of protection or has been convicted of a misdemeanor


crime of domestic violence whose sentence has been completed in the
last five years must, when the gun is out of the owner's immediate
control, keep the gun secured in a safe storage depository (for
example, a safe or similar secure container with a lock that can be
opened only with a key or combination, or other locking mechanism) or
render it incapable of being fired by putting a safety lock on the
gun.

Provisions Related to Persons with Mental Illness

Amendments to the Mental Hygiene Law will help ensure that persons who
are mentally ill and dangerous cannot retain or obtain a firearm.
First, mental health records that are currently sent to NIDCS for a
federal background check will also be housed in a New York State
database. A new Section 9.46 of the Mental Hygiene Law will require
mental health professionals, in the exercise of reasonable
professional judgment, to report if an individual they are treating is
likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to him- or
herself or others. A good faith decision about whether to report will
not be a basis for any criminal or civil liability. When a Section
9.46 report is made, the Division of Criminal Justice Services will
determine whether the person possesses a firearms license and, if so,
will notify the appropriate local licensing official, who must suspend
the license. The person's firearms will then be removed.

The bill extends Kendra's Law through 2017 and amends the law by:
extending the duration of the initial assisted out-patient treatment
order from 6 months to one year; requiring a review before the
assisted out-patient treatment order for a mentally ill inmate is
terminated; requiring an assisted out-patient treatment order to
follow a person from one county to another if he or she changes
residence; and will require the Office of Mental Hygiene (OMH) to
conduct an assisted out-patient treatment assessment when a state
prisoner is being discharged to the community from an OHM hospital.

New and Enhanced Criminal Penalties

Several sections of the bill create new and enhanced penalties for
illegal gun use. Sections 33 through 36, known as "Mark's Law," will
include the intentional murder of certain first responders in the
Class A-1 felonies of murder in the first degree and aggravated
murder. The mandatory penalty for a conviction of aggravated murder is
life without parole.

A new Penal Law Section 460.22, aggravated enterprise corruption,
recognizes the significant threat to public safety posed by organized
violent gangs and their illegal purchases of weapons by creating an
A-1 felony for cases when members of the enterprise commit certain
combinations of offenses. Those combinations are: first, a pattern of
criminal activity that constitutes Class B felonies or higher, and at
least two of those acts are armed felonies; or second, one act is a
Class B violent felony and two acts constitute a violation of the
newly added Section 265.17 (3) which prohibits the purchase on behalf
of or disposal of a weapon to an individual who is prohibited by law
from possessing such a weapon. This provision also addresses the issue


of "straw purchasers" where individuals who are not prohibited by law
to purchase weapons do so for others, for example, gang members who
may not possess a weapon because of a prior conviction or other
disability under law.

Section 41 increases the penalty for possession of a firearm on school
grounds or on a school bus from a misdemeanor to a Class E felony.
Section 41-a creates a new subdivision of criminal possession of a
weapon in the third degree, a Class D violent felony, when a person
possesses an unloaded firearm and also commits a drug trafficking
felony or possesses an unloaded firearm and also commits any violent
felony as part of the same criminal transaction. The mandatory minimum
sentence for these new Class D felonies is a three and one-half year
determinate sentence, although the court may consider mitigating
factors and impose a lesser sentence in some limited circumstances
involving drug trafficking.

Section 45 creates the crime of aggravated criminal possession of a
weapon, a Class C felony, which is committed when one possesses a
loaded firearm under § 255.03 of the Penal Law and also commits any
violent felony offense or a drug trafficking felony. The minimum
mandatory sentence is 5 years.

Section 32 amends Penal Law § 120.05 by adding a new subdivision 4-a
to create the crime of assault in the second degree when a person
recklessly causes physical injury to a child by the intentional
discharge of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.

Section 43 amends Penal Law § 265.17 to include criminal sale or
disposal of a weapon by providing a firearm, rifle or shotgun to a
person knowing he or she is prohibited by law from possessing such
firearm, rifle or shotgun. The penalty is raised from a Class A
misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

Section 31 adds Penal Law § 115.20 making it a Class A misdemeanor to
make available, sell, exchange, give or dispose of a community gun
that aids a person in committing a crime. A community gun is defined
as one that is made available to, among, or between two or more
persons at least one of whom is not authorized pursuant to law to
possess such firearm.

EXISTING LAW:

This bill amends the Correction Law, the Criminal Procedure Law, the
Domestic Relations Law, the Executive Law, the Family Court Act, the
General Business Law, the Judiciary Law, Kendra's Law (Section 18 of
Chapter 408 of the Laws of 1999, as amended by Chapter 139 of the Laws
of 2010), the Mental Hygiene Law, the Penal Law, and the Surrogates
Court Act.




The bill will take effect immediately except where otherwise provided.
Edited by Shiggy

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Mr. Speaker

I move to amend this legislation by striking all mentions of 'New York' and inserting 'Northeast' in its place.

I yield.

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