Bill S6911-2009

Directs the division of criminal justice services to study and report on laws, rules and regulations relating to air guns

Directs the division of criminal justice services to study, review and report, to the governor and the legislature, on the laws, rules and regulation and policies relating to air rifles, air pistols and other non-powder guns; directs such division to make recommendations to ensure that the public interest is served.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 15, 2010: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Apr 20, 2010: REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • Feb 24, 2010: REFERRED TO CODES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Codes - Apr 20, 2010
Ayes (10): Schneiderman, Breslin, Duane, Parker, Huntley, Sampson, Klein, Perkins, Squadron, Flanagan
Ayes W/R (1): Saland
Nays (5): Volker, DeFrancisco, Bonacic, Golden, Lanza

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S6911

TITLE OF BILL : An act to direct the division of criminal justice services to study, review and report, to the governor and the legislature, on the laws, rules and regulations relating to air rifles, air pistols and other non-powder guns

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : This bill addresses the need to reassess New York laws, regulations and policies regarding non-powder weapons in light of changing technology.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Bill section 1 sets forth legislative findings regarding recent advances in technologies associated with air rifles, air pistols and other non-powder guns, that have resulted in the emergence of air guns that can approach the velocity and force of weapons using gunpowder. The development of more powerful and accurate air guns necessitates a reassessment of whether our laws, regulations and policies in this area adequately ensure that the public interest is served.

Bill section 2 directs the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to review (a) current and anticipated developments in non-powder gun technologies, (b) current New York laws, regulations and policies and (c) recent developments in the statutes, regulations and policies of other jurisdictions, and to report to the Governor and the Legislature on the extent to which the laws, regulations and policies currently in effect in this State serve the public interest. DCJS shall make such recommendations as it deems appropriate for changes in such laws, regulations and policies. In conducting its review, DCJS shall consult with the Department of Environmental Conservation, the State Police, the Office of Homeland Security and other appropriate state and local agencies and officers, and shall solicit input from the public.

Bill section 3 provides that DCJS shall submit its report to the Governor and the Legislature within one year after the bill's effective date.

JUSTIFICATION : Advances in technology have increased the velocity, power and accuracy of non-powder guns to the point where their performance approaches that of firearms using gun-powder. An increasing variety of hunting rifles and pistols are currently available on the market (including large-bore .40 and .50 caliber rifles, recently legalized for deer hunting in Missouri). These developments have caused other jurisdictions to reevaluate the manner in which non-powder guns are treated in their laws, regulations and policies.

Many of New York's current laws, regulations and policies were established during an era when non-powder guns were often regarded more as toys than weapons. Outside of New York City, there are few restrictions on the sale, possession or use of non-powder guns by persons over the age of fifteen.

For instance, discharging a gun at an aircraft, train or other vehicle is a Class E felony, but only if the propelling force is gunpowder. Even where non-powder guns are regulated, the law can treat offenses much more leniently. For example, possessing a firearm on the grounds of a school or college is a Class A misdemeanor, while possessing a .50 caliber air rifle would be a mere violation.

It is timely for New York State to reassess how larger and more powerful non-powder guns should be treated in our laws, regulations

and policies. This bill would permit policymakers to be guided by a considered review of the issues involved.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6911 IN SENATE February 24, 2010 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to direct the division of criminal justice services to study, review and report, to the governor and the legislature, on the laws, rules and regulations relating to air rifles, air pistols and other non-powder guns THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds and declares that recent advances in technologies associated with air rifles, air pistols and other non-powder guns have resulted in products that are substantially different than those common in past decades. Changes in materials and techniques used to produce non-powder weapons and ammunition, and the development of guns using carbon dioxide cylin- ders and external supplies of compressed gas, have resulted in the emer- gence of air guns that can approach the velocity and force of weapons using gunpowder. The continued development of more powerful and accu- rate air guns makes it incumbent on the state of New York to reassess the adequacy of its laws, rules, regulations and policies to ensure that the public interest continues to be served. S 2. (a) The division of criminal justice services shall examine, evaluate, review and make recommendations concerning: (1) the current state of and anticipated developments in technologies associated with the design, production and use of air rifles, air pistols and other similar non-powder guns, including the ammunition and ancillary equipment therefor; (2) the current state statutes, the current rules, regulations and policies of state agencies, and any significant laws, codes, ordinances, rules, regulations and policies of municipalities in the state relating to air rifles, air pistols and other similar non-powder guns, including ammunition and ancillary equipment therefor; (3) recent developments in statutes, rules, regulations and policies in other jurisdictions; and
(4) the extent to which the statutes, rules, regulations and policies reviewed pursuant to paragraph two of this subdivision serve the public interest. (b) In conducting its examination, evaluation, review and formation of recommendations pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section, the divi- sion of criminal justice services shall consult with the department of environmental conservation, the division of state police, the office of homeland security and other appropriate state and local agencies and offices, and shall solicit and consider input from the public. S 3. Within one year of the effective date of this act, the division of criminal justice services shall make a report to the governor and the legislature of its findings, conclusions and recommendations and shall, with its report, submit such legislative proposals and options for changes in rules, regulations and policies as it deems necessary to implement its recommendations. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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