S.101A/A.1715 Limits Educational Institutions' Ability to Authorize the Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds
S.2449/A.2685 Directs State Police to Establish Statewide Regulations for the Safe Removal of Illegal, Unsecured, Abandoned or Unwanted Firearms
Governor Cuomo: "The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we're expanding New York's nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children. These measures will help slow the proliferation of guns by keeping unneeded firearms out of school zones and helping to ensure unwanted or illegal guns don't fall into dangerous hands."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation limiting an educational institution's ability to authorize any person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard to carry a firearm on school grounds (S.101/A.1715), and directing State Police to establish statewide regulations aimed at strengthening existing gun buyback programs and create new programs for the safe removal of illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms (S.2449/A.2685). This legislation builds on New York's strongest in the nation gun laws, including the Red Flag Bill signed in February that prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm, legislation Governor Cuomo signed July 29 extending the background check waiting period and banning bump stocks and legislation signed yesterday banning undetectable guns and expanding firearm safe storage laws to protection children.
"The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we're expanding New York's nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children," Governor Cuomo said. "These measures will help slow the proliferation of guns by keeping unneeded firearms out of school zones and helping to ensure unwanted or illegal guns don't fall into dangerous hands."
"Senseless and horrific gun violence continues to impact children and families across the nation," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "In New York, we're proud to lead the nation with common sense gun safety measures to protect New Yorkers. This legislation will prevent teachers from being armed and establishes gun buyback programs to keep firearms off school grounds and ensure the protection of young people. While the federal government turns its back on gun violence and prevention, we're committed to preventing tragedies and saving lives."
Preventing School Districts from Arming Teachers
In the wake of a rising number of deadly school shootings occurring across our nation, many have suggested that teachers and other school employees should be trained and armed to help deter and prevent future school shootings, even though educators nationwide have disapproved of the idea of carrying guns. Additionally, introducing guns into schools could create the potential for accidental shootings or other acts of violence. This legislation stipulates that educational institutions can't issue written authorization to carry a gun to any teacher, professor, administrator or other person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard. The bill takes effect immediately.
Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "While hundreds of districts across the country have decided to arm teachers in response to mass shootings, in New York, we said, 'not here. Arming classroom teachers is dangerous and takes our focus off of getting weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this vital piece of legislation -- our children's safety demands no less."
Assembly Member Judy Griffin said, "Arming teachers with guns can only lead to additional tragedies. While we will always remember the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, this legislation ensures that teachers will never have the burden of choosing between protecting their students or themselves from a violent shooter. I was proud to introduce this legislation in the New York State Assembly and I thank Governor Cuomo for signing it into law so that the children of New York State will be able to learn in a safe environment without the threat of unintended consequences from a gun in their classroom."
Statewide Regulations for Gun Buyback Programs
There are many different gun buyback programs across the state that allow individuals to dispose of illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms. While these programs are increasing in popularity, they currently lack a consistent set of standards and do not occur everywhere in the state. This legislation directs the State Police to establish regulations for gun buyback programs so that all buyback programs across the state are operated consistently with uniform best practices, and that these programs take place in every county in the state. These standards will help ensure that gun buyback programs accomplish their stated goals of reducing the proliferation of guns in our neighborhood and that the programs are easily accessible to the public. The bill will take effect 180 days after becoming law.
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, "Thank you Governor Cuomo for continuing New York's leadership by signing these two common sense gun safety bills. S.101A clarifies that only trained law enforcement professionals can carry guns in school property, ensuing both students and school staff are safe in our schools. A bill I sponsored, S.2449, the so called Gun Buyback Bill, will authorize statewide protocols for programs to encourage return of illegal guns. Credit to Jimmy Nolan of Yonkers, who pushed for this bill in honor of his murdered brother Michael, and the Yonkers Police Department for their leadership in reducing gun violence with smart and effective approaches like these."
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal said, "Gun buyback programs work. Providing people with a no-questions-asked opportunity to turn their guns in has helped dramatically reduce the number of legal and illegal guns on our streets, making our communities and our schools safer. New York already has the strongest gun laws on the books, and standardizing gun buyback programs statewide will help ensure that each county is implementing proven methods to get the most guns off our streets."
Rebecca Fischer, NYAGV Executive Director, said, "Our children deserve safe schools and neighborhoods. Keeping guns out of our classrooms and off of our streets is essential for the future of our kids, our educators, and our communities. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing these bills and our New York legislators for passing these common sense gun safety measures."
Nico Bocour, State Legislative Director, Giffords, said, "A safer future for our families requires courage, strength and the recognition that our nation's gun violence crisis requires action. With this legislation, Governor Cuomo and the New York legislature are moving towards a future where our students worry about math tests, not lockdown drills and guns are kept out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We applaud them for their commitment to taking action to save lives by addressing gun violence crisis."