New York lawmakers pass new gun control measures raising age to buy, own semi-automatic rifles

The state of New York voted on Friday to enact a handful of new gun control measures, including raising the age limit for the purchase or possession of a semi-automatic firearm to 21, in a relatively quick response to a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo three weeks ago. 

The new laws passed the New York legislature largely along party lines, with the Senate voting  43-20, and the Assembly 102-47. The new measures also include limitations and restrictions on civilians purchasing bullet-proof armor, after the Buffalo shooter entered the Tops supermarket wearing protective gear that prevented him from being subdued during the shooting. 

Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont and Washington already have laws on the books that prevent anyone younger than 21 from purchasing certain types of long guns.

In addition to raising the purchase and possession age for a semi-automatic weapon to 21, the state will also now require anyone who owns one to acquire a license, like the ones currently required for handguns. Another bill included in the gun safety package would require all newly-manufactured firearms to include microstamping technology, which makes it easier to connect fired bullets to specific weapons.

Also included is a bill that would expand state red flag laws, which allow individuals to file extreme risk protection orders that would temporarily restrict firearm owners from possessing their guns due to a risk of harm to themselves or others. 

Republicans pointed out during the debates on the bills that individuals could still travel to neighboring states and purchase the restricted weapons, but Democrats retorted that the only solution to that issue is a federal gun safety measure. The package of new gun safety bills will now head to the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul for signature.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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