Cuomo, Heastie Push For Statewide Bump Stock Ban
Bump stocks, used in the Las Vegas mass shooting, could be banned if Governor Cuomo and Speaker Heastie get their way. Gun rights advocates say they’ll pressure the State Senate to defeat the bill.
Author: Steve Brown
Published: 6:35 PM EST January 15, 2018
Five years ago today, Andrew Cuomo signed into law the SAFE Act, a package of gun control reforms the Governor has described as a model for the nation. Now he and the Assembly Speaker would like to add to it with a ban on bump stocks. The devices, used in the Las Vegas mass shooting in October, transform a semi-automatic weapon. A single pull of a trigger with a bump stock equipped firearm can produce a continuous flow of bullets, like an automatic weapon.
Months later, investigators are still at work. An official report on the investigation has not been released. But last week, Carl Heastie identified a bill banning bump stocks is high on his legislative priority list for 2018.
Assembly Bill 8717 proposes to make it illegal to possess, manufacture, transport or sell bump stocks in New York State. A spokesman says Governor Cuomo supports the bill. “The use of bump stocks is currently illegal in New York, but we would support legislation that builds upon our strongest in the nation gun safety laws and further restricts possession of these deadly killing machines,” says Rich Azzopardi (Cuomo’s spokesperson). That leaves the only question mark on the issue in the State Senate. 2 On Your Side reached out to Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan asking whether he will support or oppose the legislation. We got no response.
But gun rights advocates like Tim Andrews, president of SCOPE-NY, know the State Senate is where the fight will be. “I think our best hope of doing that is obviously in the Senate. I’m not saying by any stretch of the imagination I believe it would necessarily be easy to do. But that would be our focus. We will put all the pressure on we possibly can. We feel we have to,” says Andrews.
Andrews says control issues need to be handled on the federal level or they will not work. And although the influential National Rifle Association has signaled it believes the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms should regulate bump stocks, the Republican-controlled Congress has not taken up the issue.