Hochul Signs Gun Legislation Package Into Law

June 6. 2022

Today Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package intended to immediately strengthen the state’s gun laws, close critical loopholes exposed by shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde and protect New Yorkers from the scourge of gun violence that continues to infect our nation and endanger our communities. 

Governor Hochul signed the bills at the Northeast Bronx YMCA flanked by Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie, partners in the legislature, Attorney General Letitia James and victims and survivors of gun violence.  

“Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing our country apart. Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this, but taking strong action will,” Governor Hochul said. “In New York, we’re taking bold steps to protect the people of our state. I am proud to sign a comprehensive bill package that prohibits the sale of semiautomatic weapons to people under 21, bans body armor sales outside of people in select professions, closes critical gun law loopholes and strengthens our Red Flag Law to keep guns away from dangerous people—new measures that I believe will save lives. I am thankful to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and all our legislative partners for acting with the urgency and thoughtfulness that this issue demands.” 

Signed into law less than one month after the tragic white supremacist act of terror at a Buffalo supermarket, this comprehensive ten-bill package will: 

  • Ban the sale of semiautomatic rifles to anyone under 21 by requiring a license
  • Prohibit the purchase of body armor by anyone not engaged in an eligible profession 
  • Strengthen the Red Flag Law by expanding the list of people who can file for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) and requiring law enforcement to file ERPOs under a very specified set of circumstances; make threatening mass harm a crime 
  • Require microstamping for new semiautomatic handguns
  • Enhance information sharing between state, local and federal agencies when guns are used in crimes and strengthen requirements for gun dealers related to record-keeping and safeguarding their inventory
  • Close the “other gun” loophole by revising and widening the definition of a firearm
  • Eliminate the grandfathering of large capacity feeding devices
  • Require social media platforms to provide a mechanism for users to report hateful conduct.

“While we are taking expedient action to enhance New York State’s nation-leading gun laws, we recognize that gun violence is a nationwide problem,” Hochul said. “I once again urge Congress to follow our lead and take immediate action to pass meaningful gun violence prevention measures. Lives depend on it.”