Broadens provisions relating to eligibility for a firearms license.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to the issuance of a license to carry a firearm
PURPOSE: This bill adds a mental health component to the requirements for firearm licensing. It also requires that applicants successfully complete a firearm safety course approved by the superintendent of state police and receive a certificate of completion before a license will be issued or renewed.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 1 of section 400.00 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 189 of the laws of 2000, to include additional requirements for firearm licensing. The bill broadens the current regulations to include a mental health component prohibiting issuance or renewal of a license if the applicant has previously had a guardian appointed to them pursuant to any provision of law based on a determination that as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, mental illness, incapacity, condition or disease, he or she lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage their own affairs. It further requires that applicants successfully complete a firearm safety course and receive a certificate of completion, endorsed and affirmed under the penalties of perjury, by a duly authorized instructor and approved by the superintendent of state police.
Section 2 of the bill establishes the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Perpetrators of acts of firearm violence often display indications of mental illness long before they commit crimes. The tragic loss of life recently suffered in Arizona is a dark reminder of the need for more common-sense firearm licensing requirements. A mechanism for reviewing an applicant's mental stability before issuance or renewal of a firearm license is imperative to averting such shootings in the future and ensures that only those who are mentally competent are allowed to own such dangerous weapons. Growing concern regarding easy access to firearms by people with mental health issues has led a number of states to pass legislation barring firearm licensure to those with a history of mental illness. This bill will ensure that New York is among the states that currently require that firearms are kept out of the hands of the mentally disturbed; the list of people whose lives have been savagely cut short by gun violence demands nothing less.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.5489 Held in Codes 2008: S.3341B (Krueger) Held in Codes 2007: S.3341 Held in Codes 2006: S.2341 Held in Codes 2005: S.2341 Held in Codes 2004: S.4426 Held in Codes
2003: S.4426 Held in Codes 2002: S.6895 Held in Codes
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3935 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 10, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ADAMS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the issuance of a license to carry a firearm THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 400.00 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 189 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows: 1. Eligibility. No license shall be issued or renewed pursuant to this section except by the licensing officer, and then only after investi- gation and finding that all statements in a proper application for a license are true. No license shall be issued or renewed except for an applicant (a) twenty-one years of age or older, provided, however, that where such applicant has been honorably discharged from the United States army, navy, marine corps, air force or coast guard, or the national guard of the state of New York, no such age restriction shall apply; (b) of good moral character; (c) who has not been convicted anywhere of a felony or a serious offense; (d) who has
[stated whether he or she has]NOT HAD A GUARDIAN APPOINTED FOR THEM PURSUANT TO ANY PROVISION OF LAW, BASED ON A DETERMINATION THAT AS A RESULT OF MARKED SUBNORMAL INTELLIGENCE, MENTAL ILLNESS, INCAPACITY, CONDITION OR DISEASE, HE OR SHE LACKS THE MENTAL CAPACITY TO CONTRACT OR MANAGE THEIR OWN AFFAIRS OR ever suffered any mental illness or been confined to any hospital or institution, public or private, for mental illness; (e) who has not had a license revoked or who is not under a suspension or inel- igibility order issued pursuant to the provisions of section 530.14 of the criminal procedure law or section eight hundred forty-two-a of the family court act; (f) [in the county of Westchester,]who has success- fully completed a firearms safety course and test as evidenced by a certificate of completion issued in his or her name and endorsed andEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00575-01-1 S. 3935 2
affirmed under the penalties of perjury by a duly authorized instructor, APPROVED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF STATE POLICE except that: (i) persons who are honorably discharged from the United States army, navy, marine corps, AIR FORCE or coast guard, or of the national guard of the state of New York, and produce evidence of official qualification in firearms during the term of service are not required to have completed those hours of a firearms safety course pertaining to the safe use, carrying, possession, maintenance and storage of a firearm; and (ii) persons who were licensed to possess a pistol or revolver prior to the effective date of this paragraph are not required to have completed a firearms safety course and test; and (g) concerning whom no good cause exists for the denial of the license. No person shall engage in the business of gunsmith or dealer in firearms unless licensed pursuant to this section. An applicant to engage in such business shall also be a citizen of the United States, more than twenty-one years of age and maintain a place of business in the city or county where the license is issued. For such business, if the applicant is a firm or partnership, each member thereof shall comply with all of the requirements set forth in this subdivision and if the applicant is a corporation, each officer thereof shall so comply. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.