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Gov. Kathy Hochul announces new proposed bills to tighten New York gun laws

New York state expected to pass series of bills tightening gun laws
New York state expected to pass series of bills tightening gun laws 02:57

NEW YORK -- New York state is expected to pass a slew of legislation this week that will tighten gun laws across the state.

As CBS2's Ali Bauman reports, Gov. Kathy Hochul has agreed on this legislation with the state Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker, so it is expected to pass.

The legislators say it will close loopholes that allowed the alleged gunman in Buffalo to carry out his carnage, but Republicans say the bills make for cheap headlines without addressing underlying issues.

More than 600 people have become a victim of gun violence in New York City so far this year, including a 72-year-old woman who was shot inside her own home in Queens on Monday.

READ MORE: 72-year-old woman struck by bullet sitting in her Queens home

In a meeting with the Buffalo mayor Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams called for more funding to take guns off the street and improve mental health resources.

"It's time to give the resources to our cities and states that will ensure that we can provide the necessary mental health care," Adams said.

On Long Island Tuesday night, students gathered in the Long Beach MLK Center to honor lives lost in recent mass shootings and demand action from lawmakers.

"We want them to do what's right or else get out of office," said James Hodge, chairman of the Long Beach MLK Center.

Responding to public outcry after the recent mass shootings, the governor says she plans to sign ten proposed bills into law this week.

If enacted, the laws would criminalize threatening mass harm and require information-sharing among state, local and federal agencies when guns are used in a crime.

New York would also become the first state to prohibit the sale of body armor, which the alleged Buffalo shooter was wearing during his attack.

"The view of this bill is that the world is not made safer by allowing anybody to purchase this stuff because it does make it more difficult for police to respond," Sen. Brian Kavanagh said.

Exceptions would be made for law enforcement and others who need body armor for work.

One of the biggest changes in this legislation would raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 years old and require a license prior to purchase.

"This is going to force these gun dealers to do a background check, go through character and fitness," Sen. Kevin Thomas said.

"In Florida, after the Parkland shooting, they raised the age for buying any guns to 21. Why not do something like that here?" Bauman asked.

"We are going in the right direction with this," Thomas said.

"New York's laws, especially with the package that we're passing this week, really are among the strongest in the country," Kavanagh said.

In a statement, chair of the New York State Republican Committee Nick Langworthy responded in part:

"This package of bills does nothing to actually address the underlying mental health crisis at the center of the problem or invests in securing our schools. If Hochul and legislative leaders cared about shooting victims, they would vote today to repeal their disastrous bail laws that has turned our streets over to violent criminals."

New Yorkers who already own a semi-automatic rifle or body armor would be grandfathered in, according to state senators.

This legislation package would also mandate microstamping for new guns, which is identification technology that etches a unique code in each bullet case as it's fired.

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