Provides for universal background checks for the sale of firearms; makes the violation of such provisions a class A misdemeanor.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to universal background checks for sales of firearms
PURPOSE: The purpose of this act is to require all firearm sales to be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer, so that all legal requirements axe met, including a background check on the prospective purchaser and the creation of a record. This act will help protect public safety by preventing gun deaths and injuries.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new Article 38-B to the General Business Law in relation to universal background checks for sales of firearms.
* Section 830 provides the short title.
* Section 831 defines certain terms.
* Section 832 requires anyone selling or transferring a firearm to process the transfer through a federally licensed firearms dealer, who must conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser and maintain a record of the sale.
* Section 833 provides exemptions to the article.
* Section 834 provides that a violation of the article shall be a class A misdemeanor. Every conviction of a violation of this article by a dealer in firearms shall be reported by the sentencing court to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Section 2 provides the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Federal law requires anyone engaged in the business of selling firearms to obtain a federal firearms license. These licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks on a prospective gun purchaser before transferring the firearm. Firearm dealers are not the only individuals who can transfer guns, however. Due to a huge loophole in federal law, the private sale loophole, unlicensed sellers are not legally required to conduct a background check or document transaction information prior to transferring a firearm. This loophole accounts for up to 40% of all gun sales nationwide. Because of this loophole, criminals and other prohibited persons can easily buy guns throughout most of the country.
Background checks are a proven method to keep guns out of the hands of prohibited persons. Since the federal background check requirement was adopted in 1994, nearly 1,800,000 prohibited persons have been denied a firearm transfer or permit. In 2009 alone, 76,648 gun transfers were denied using the federal background check system. Implementing universal background checks would reduce illegal trafficking and treat all transfers equally, whether the purchaser is buying from a licensed gun shop, at a gun show or
from a neighbor. Universal background checks would help ensure that persons buying guns are legally eligible to do so.
In addition to the requirement of a background check, federally licensed firearms dealers must also record information about each sale or transfer of a firearm. The information that is recorded helps law enforcement track the owners of guns recovered in crimes, and remove guns from the hands of people who have been convicted of a crime or otherwise become ineligible to possess them.
Americans overwhelmingly support background checks fox all prospective gun purchasers; (a) nationwide poll conducted in early 2008 found that 87% of Americans, including 83% of gun owners, favor requiring everyone who sells guns to conduct criminal background checks on prospective purchasers; (b) a poll conducted in November, 2008 found that 83% of voters, including 84% Percent of gun owners, favor background checks for all sales, and (c) a national survey conducted for Mayors Against Illegal Guns in January, 2007 found that 92% of Americans, including 91% of gun owners, favor mandatory criminal background checks for all people purchasing guns.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: Senate Bill 7839 (Gianaris) - Died in Senate Rules Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: The sixtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 575 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. GIANARIS, ADAMS, ADDABBO, BRESLIN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, PERKINS, RIVERA, SERRANO, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to universal back- ground checks for sales of firearms THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new article 38-B to read as follows: ARTICLE 38-B UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR SALE OF FIREARMS SECTION 830. SHORT TITLE. 831. DEFINITIONS. 832. ALL SALES THROUGH A DEALER IN FIREARMS. 833. EXEMPTIONS. 834. PENALTIES. S 830. SHORT TITLE. THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE "UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR SALE OF FIREARMS ACT". S 831. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE: 1. "DEALER IN FIREARMS" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION NINE OF SECTION 265.00 OF THE PENAL LAW. 2. "FIREARM" HAS THE SAME MEANING AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI- SION THREE OF SECTION 265.00 OF THE PENAL LAW. 3. "LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY" MEANS ANY AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENT, OR OF A MUNICIPALITY OR PUBLIC AUTHORITY WHICH EMPLOYS POLICE OFFICERS. S 832. ALL SALES THROUGH A DEALER IN FIREARMS. NO PERSON SHALL SELL, LEASE, TRANSFER OR LOAN A FIREARM UNLESS: 1. SUCH PERSON IS A DEALER IN FIREARMS;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01833-01-3 S. 575 2
2. THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM IS A DEALER IN FIREARMS; OR 3. WHERE NEITHER SUCH PERSON, NOR THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM IS A DEALER IN FIREARMS, THE TRANSACTION SHALL BE COMPLETED THROUGH A DEALER IN FIREARMS AS FOLLOWS: (A) THE SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR THE PERSON LOANING THE FIREARM SHALL DELIVER THE FIREARM TO THE DEALER IN FIREARMS, WHO SHALL RETAIN POSSESSION OF THAT FIREARM UNTIL ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SALE, LEASE, TRANSFER OR LOAN HAVE BEEN MET; (B) THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL PROCESS THE SALE, LEASE, TRANSFER OR LOAN AS IF HE OR SHE WERE THE SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR LENDER OF THE FIREARM. THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL COMPLY WITH ALL REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAW THAT WOULD APPLY IF HE OR SHE WERE THE SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR LENDER OF THE FIREARM; (C) THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL CONDUCT A BACKGROUND CHECK ON THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR THE PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 922(T) OF TITLE 18 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE, AND STATE AND LOCAL LAW, AND, IF THE TRANSACTION IS NOT PROHIBITED, DELIVER THE FIREARM TO THAT PERSON AFTER ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENTS ARE MET; (D) IF THE DEALER IN FIREARMS CANNOT LEGALLY DELIVER THE FIREARM TO THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR THE PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL CONDUCT A BACKGROUND CHECK ON THE SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR THE PERSON LOANING THE FIREARM IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 922(T) OF TITLE 18 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE, AND STATE AND LOCAL LAW, AND, IF THE RETURN TRANSACTION IS NOT PROHIBITED, RETURN THE FIREARM TO THAT PERSON; (E) IF THE DEALER IN FIREARMS CANNOT LEGALLY RETURN THE FIREARM TO THE SELLER, LESSOR, TRANSFEROR OR THE PERSON LOANING THE FIREARM, THEN THE DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL DELIVER THE FIREARM TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY HAVING JURISDICTION OVER SUCH DEALER WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS; AND (F) THE PURCHASER, LESSEE, TRANSFEREE OR THE PERSON BEING LOANED THE FIREARM MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE DEALER IN FIREARMS TO PAY A FEE COVERING THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS INCURRED BY THE DEALER IN FIREARMS FOR FACILI- TATING THE TRANSFER OF THE FIREARM, PLUS APPLICABLE FEES PURSUANT TO FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAW. S 833. EXEMPTIONS. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT APPLY TO: 1. THE ACTIVITIES OF: (A) LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CORRECTIONS SERVICES AGENCIES; (B) THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS, MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF UNITED STATES OR THE ORGANIZED MILITIA OF THE STATE, OR FEDERAL OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO POSSESS FIREARMS WHILE ENGAGED IN THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES; AND (C) PERSONS WHO ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE THIRTY-NINE- DD OF THIS CHAPTER; OR 2. THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES, UNLESS THE LAWFUL OWNER OF A FIREARM KNOWS OR HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL LAW PROHIB- ITS A TRANSFEREE FROM PURCHASING OR POSSESSING A FIREARM, OR THAT THE TRANSFEREE IS LIKELY TO USE THAT FIREARM FOR UNLAWFUL PURPOSES: (A) THE DELIVERY OF A FIREARM TO A GUNSMITH FOR SERVICE OR REPAIR, OR THE RETURN OF THE FIREARM TO ITS OWNER BY THE GUNSMITH; (B) THE TRANSFER OF A FIREARM TO A CARRIER, WAREHOUSEMAN AND OTHER PERSON ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF TRANSPORTATION OR STORAGE, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE POSSESSION, RECEIPT OR HAVING ON OR ABOUT THE PERSON OF ANY FIREARM IS IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF BUSINESS AND IN CONFORMITY WITHS. 575 3
FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAWS, BUT NOT FOR THE PERSONAL USE OF ANY SUCH PERSON; (C) THE LOAN OF A FIREARM SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHOOTING AT TARGETS, IF THE LOAN OCCURS ON THE PREMISES OF A TARGET FACILITY, IF THE FIREARM IS AT ALL TIMES KEPT WITHIN THE PREMISES OF THE TARGET RANGE; (D) THE LOAN OF A FIREARM TO A PERSON WHO IS UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE FOR LAWFUL HUNTING, SPORTING OR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES WHILE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF A RESPONSIBLE ADULT; OR (E) THE LOAN OF A FIREARM TO A PERSON WHO IS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, SO LONG AS THE FIREARM REMAINS IN THE PERSON'S POSSESSION ONLY WHILE THE PERSON IS ACCOMPANYING THE LAWFUL OWNER AND USING THE FIREARM FOR LAWFUL HUNTING, SPORTING OR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES. S 834. PENALTIES. 1. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. 2. EVERY CONVICTION OF A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE BY A DEALER IN FIREARMS SHALL BE REPORTED BY THE SENTENCING COURT TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.