Although New York is already known for its strong gun laws, some are hoping President Barack Obama’s plans to strengthen gun control throughout the nation will help keep the state out of violence’s way.
Wiping back tears, Obama explained on Tuesday the new steps his administration will be taking to tighten gun rules in the nation — while also calling on voters to chose a candidate that could continue to do more.
These steps include the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issuing guidelines planned to narrow exceptions in the system which requires sellers to check with the FBI to determine if a buyer has a criminal record, is charged with crimes or have mental health conditions.
There will also be an increase in ATF involvement to keep guns out of dangerous hands and provide more funds for improving mental health treatment.
“New York suffers from guns that are trafficked in from other states where these kinds of gun sellers do not currently have to conduct criminal background checks,” Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of NYAGV told Metro. “By cutting down on the number of these sellers, it follows that it will be harder for traffickers to procure the same volume of guns to traffic into our state.”
Barrett, who attended Obama’s announcement, added that she hopes the president’s plan will also push stricter laws within New York such as prohibiting individuals on the no-fly list from buying guns in the sate and mandate guns bought in the state to be microstamped.
In 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the NY SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) giving New York State the toughest laws in the nation.
The legislation includes keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and potentially dangerous mental health patients, while also banning high capacity magazines and assault weapons.
Under the NY SAFE Act, New York became the first in the nation to ban any magazine, which can hold more than seven rounds.
“New York has led the way on gun control — enacting the toughest laws in the nation after Sandy Hook where 20 children and six adults were tragically murdered. But there is still more we must do together as a nation,” Cuomo said.
However, even with the steps forward there is still hope more can be done to make sure New Yorkers can be kept safe — along with the rest of the country.
“For all the progress we have made in New York State on this issue, the lack of federal gun control continues to leave our communities in the line of fire,” the governor said.
According to a report by advocacy group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence– compiled by information from ATF — in 2014, 82 percent of traced crime guns in New York originated from outside the state.
Shooting in New York City were down to 1,137 incidents in 2015, which was less than 2014 but higher than the city’s lowest number in 2013, according to the NYPD’s recent crime numbers.