Gun Law Reforms for AR-15 Purchases:
Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed a change to gun laws in New York State. The governor has proposed a change to the laws that govern the purchasing of AR-15 rifles. Hochul hopes to see the legal purchasing age increase from 18 to 21 years old. She added that, if possible, more firearms would fall into the restricted category. The governor is hoping to have the law change passed as legislation before June 2nd when the state lawmakers end their annual legislative session.
The idea to amend certain gun laws has been motivated by the recent mass shootings that occurred in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Both mass shootings were carried out by 18-year-old men armed with AR-15 firearms.
“How does an 18-year-old purchase an AR-15 in the state of New York, the state of Texas?” Hochul said Wednesday, May 25. “That person’s not old enough to buy a legal drink. I want to work with the legislature to change that. I want it to be 21. I think that’s just common sense.”
“I want to work with the Legislature to do something that is far more common sense than we have right now,” Hochul said, adding: “I’m going to look at everything.”
The governor’s proposal has received support from Senate Democrats who hold a significant majority in the Legislature’s upper chamber. “This is something we have been discussing and we have always been supportive of this idea and would certainly be in favor of moving forward,” said Mike Murphy, a spokesman for Senate Democrats.
New York is famous for having some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. If Hochul were to achieve her goals, there would be more restrictions. The State of New York would be following in the lead of states such as California and Florida, which have laws that place restrictions on the purchasing of firearms by people under 21 years of age. These laws have been challenged by pro-gun activists in court.
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Hochul made it clear that any future legal challenges would not prevent her from seeking more restrictive gun laws.
“I’m not going to let my fear of losing a court case stop me from what I think is correct for New Yorkers,” she said. “We’ll protect them, because you may get a good judge that actually cares and has common sense and would understand that these are not punitive measures. These are laws that take into consideration the rights under the Second Amendment.”
Tom King, President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and National Rifle Association board member, did not take Hochul’s intentions seriously.
“I’m against raising the age to 21,” he said. “I don’t see what good it’s going to do. There are many other things that (Hochul) can do in order to make the people of New York safer — harden schools, put in armed police officers or armed guards, or even arm some teachers if necessary if they want to be.”