Requires persons possessing any firearm to hold a firearms safety certificate; establishes application and training process therefor.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the penal law, in relation to requiring persons possessing a firearm to hold a firearms safety certificate
The purpose of this act is: (1) to reduce the number of unintentional shootings by ensuring that gun owners know how to safely use and store firearms; and (2) to increase compliance with existing firearms laws by requiring gun owners to demonstrate knowledge of those laws.
Section one amends subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 of section 265.01 of the Penal law, subdivision 6 as added by chapter 1041 of the laws of 1974, subdivision 7 as added by chapter 807 of the laws of 1981 and subdivision 8 as added by chapter 646 of the laws of 1986, and a new subdivision 9 is added. The proposed legislation establishes a firearms safety certificate requirement.
Section two amends the Penal law by adding a new section 400.15. This section mandates the successful completion of a course of instruction by the applicant which shall include: (a) not less than five hours of classroom instruction on: (i) the safe use and handling of firearms; (ii) the methods for safely storing firearms, and keeping children safe when weapons are present; and (iii) the applicable federal, state and local laws relating to the purchase, sale, possession, transportation and storage of firearms; (b) not less than two hours of live firing instruction at a shooting range using the type of firearm the applicant anticipates purchasing, possessing or acquiring; and (c) a safe-handling of a firearm demonstration as attested by a duly authorized instructor. The course must be approved by the Sheriff of the county in which the applicant resides or the Commissioner of the police department of a city having a population of one million or more. Every firearms safety certificate is valid for a period of two years, and may be renewed. The certificate is non-transferable and only applicable to the applicant. Additionally, the section deals with revocation and exemptions.
Section three provides the effective date.
Handgun safety is important to all New Yorkers. Handgun accidents involving children are especially disturbing. Studies show that easy access to loaded handguns in homes is a major cause of accidental shootings of children. While there may be no way to guarantee safety, handgun owners can take steps to help prevent many accidental shootings. This legislation will provide persons possessing firearms valuable information to help them become a safe and responsible handgun owner.
The intent of the legislation is to ensure that persons who obtain firearms have a basic familiarity with those firearms, including but not limited to, the safe handling and storage of those firearms; and to increase compliance with existing firearms laws by requiring gun owners to demonstrate knowledge of those laws.
The first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall become a law; provided, however, that the provisions of subdivision 9 of section 265.01 of the penal law, as added by section one of this act, and subdivision 2 of section 400.15 of the penal law, as added by section two of this act, shall not apply to any person who possesses a firearm on the effective date of this act, until the nineteenth day after such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7844 IN SENATE August 24, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sens. GIANARIS, ADAMS, AVELLA, BRESLIN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, OPPENHEIMER, PERKINS, RIVERA, SERRANO, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to requiring persons possess- ing a firearm to hold a firearms safety certificate THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 of section 265.01 of the penal law, subdivision 6 as added by chapter 1041 of the laws of 1974, subdivision 7 as added by chapter 807 of the laws of 1981 and subdivision 8 as added by chapter 646 of the laws of 1986, are amended and a new subdivision 9 is added to read as follows: (6) He OR SHE is a person who has been certified not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, as defined in subdivision sixteen of section 265.00 OF THIS ARTICLE, and refuses to yield possession of such rifle or shotgun upon the demand of a police officer. Whenever a person is certi- fied not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, a member of the police department to which such certification is made, or of the state police, shall forthwith seize any rifle or shotgun possessed by such person. A rifle or shotgun seized as herein provided shall not be destroyed, but shall be delivered to the headquarters of such police department, or state police, and there retained until the aforesaid certificate has been rescinded by the director or physician in charge, or other disposi- tion of such rifle or shotgun has been ordered or authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction
[.]; OR (7) He OR SHE knowingly possesses a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate upon impact [.]; OR (8) He OR SHE possesses any armor piercing ammunition with intent to use the same unlawfully against another [.]; OR (9) HE OR SHE POSSESSES A FIREARM, NOT BEING THE HOLDER OF A VALID FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTION 400.15 OF THIS CHAPTER.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD16408-05-2 S. 7844 2
S 2. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 400.15 to read as follows: S 400.15 FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: (A) "COMMISSIONER" MEANS THE COMMISSIONER OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF A CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. (B) "SHERIFF" MEANS THE SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY IN WHICH AN APPLICANT RESIDES, EXCEPT IN A CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. 2. NO PERSON SHALL POSSESS A FIREARM UNLESS SUCH PERSON HOLDS A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. 3. EVERY PERSON APPLYING FOR A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE SHALL SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO THE SHERIFF OR THE COMMISSIONER IF SUCH PERSON RESIDES IN A CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. SUCH APPLI- CATION SHALL BE IN SUCH FORM AND CONTENT AS SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BY THE SHERIFF OR THE COMMISSIONER, AND SHALL INCLUDE: (A) THE APPLICANT'S NAME, ADDRESS, RESIDENCE TELEPHONE NUMBER, GENDER, RACE, HEIGHT, WEIGHT, DATE OF BIRTH, CITIZENSHIP, THUMBPRINT AND DRIV- ER'S LICENSE OR NON-DRIVER IDENTIFICATION CARD NUMBER; (B) THE APPLICANT'S SIGNATURE; AND (C) AN OATH THAT ALL INFORMATION IN THE APPLICATION IS TRUE, SUBJECT TO THE PENALTIES OF PERJURY. 4. THE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE SHALL INCLUDE THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION BY THE APPLICANT OF: (A) NOT LESS THAN FIVE HOURS OF CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION ON: (I) THE SAFE USE AND HANDLING OF FIREARMS; (II) THE METHODS FOR SAFELY STORING AND SECURING FIREARMS, AND KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE WHEN SUCH WEAPONS ARE PRESENT; AND (III) THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL LAWS RELATING TO THE PURCHASE, SALE, POSSESSION, TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF FIREARMS; (B) NOT LESS THAN TWO HOURS OF LIVE FIRING INSTRUCTION AT A SHOOTING RANGE USING THE TYPE OF FIREARM THE APPLICANT ANTICIPATES PURCHASING, POSSESSING OR ACQUIRING; AND (C) A SAFE-HANDLING OF A FIREARM DEMONSTRATION AS ATTESTED TO BY A DULY AUTHORIZED INSTRUCTOR. 5. EVERY FIREARMS SAFETY COURSE, FOR THE COMPLETION OF WHICH AN APPLI- CANT IS GRANTED A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE, SHALL BE APPROVED BY THE SHERIFF OR THE COMMISSIONER AND SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY A DULY AUTHORIZED INSTRUCTOR. THE SHERIFF OR THE COMMISSIONER MAY, FOR THE PURPOSES OF FIREARMS SAFETY COURSES REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, PROVIDE FOR THE APPROVAL OF FIREARM SAFETY COURSES REQUIRED OR PROVIDED FOR PURSUANT TO ANY FEDERAL OR STATE LAW. 6. UPON THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF A FIREARMS SAFETY COURSE BY AN APPLICANT, THE DULY AUTHORIZED INSTRUCTOR OF SUCH COURSE SHALL PROVIDE THE APPLICANT WITH A SIGNED AFFIDAVIT ATTESTING TO THE APPLICANT'S SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE COURSE. SUCH AFFIDAVIT SHALL INCLUDE THE NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE DULY AUTHORIZED INSTRUCTOR; THE NAME OF THE APPLICANT; AND THE DATES AND PLACES THAT THE COURSE WAS CONDUCTED. 7. UPON RECEIPT OF THE AFFIDAVIT REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, THE APPLICANT SHALL SUBMIT A COPY OF SUCH AFFIDAVIT TO THE SHERIFF OR THE COMMISSIONER AND HE OR SHE SHALL ADMINISTER A WRITTEN EXAMINATION, ESTABLISHED BY HIM OR HER, DEMONSTRATING KNOWLEDGE OF FIREARMS SAFETY AND LAWS APPLICABLE TO FIREARMS. (A) A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE SHALL BE ISSUED TO AN APPLICANT WHO SCORES SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OR HIGHER ON SUCH EXAMINATION.S. 7844 3
(B) IF AN APPLICANT FAILS SUCH WRITTEN EXAMINATION, HE OR SHE MAY RETAKE SUCH EXAMINATION AT LEAST TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AFTER A PRIOR ATTEMPT. THE SAME VERSION OF SUCH WRITTEN EXAMINATION SHALL NOT BE GIVEN TO AN APPLICANT UPON ANY TWO CONSECUTIVE TAKINGS THEREOF. NO APPLICANT SHALL BE OFFERED THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION MORE THAN THREE TIMES. AFTER THE THIRD FAILURE BY AN APPLICANT, HE OR SHE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO AGAIN SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISIONS FOUR AND SIX OF THIS SECTION. (C) APPLICANTS MAY BE CHARGED A FEE TO COVER THE COSTS OF ADMINISTER- ING THE WRITTEN EXAMINATION. 8. UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION BY AN APPLICANT, THE SHERIFF OR THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ISSUE SUCH APPLICANT A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE. FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATES SHALL NOT BE TRANSFERABLE. THE HOLDER THEREOF SHALL STORE SUCH CERTIFICATE IN THE PLACE WHERE HIS OR HER FIREARMS ARE STORED, EXCEPT THAT SUCH CERTIFICATE SHALL BE CARRIED ON THE PERSON OF THE HOLD- ER IF A FIREARM IS POSSESSED OUTSIDE OF THE HOLDER'S RESIDENCE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS. UPON REQUEST OF A POLICE OFFICER, A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIF- ICATE SHALL BE DISPLAYED BY THE HOLDER TO SUCH OFFICER. 9. EVERY FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE VALID FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS, AND MAY BE RENEWED UPON COMPLETION OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION. 10. NO PERSON SHALL SELL OR TRANSFER POSSESSION OF A FIREARM TO ANY PERSON WHO DOES NOT HOLD A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE. 11. A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE SHALL BE REVOKED: (A) FOR THE VIOLATION OF ANY PROVISION OF LAW RELATING TO FIREARMS; (B) FOR FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION OR BRIBERY IN THE APPLICATION FOR AND ISSUANCE OF THE FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE; (C) IF THE HOLDER IS DISQUALIFIED FROM POSSESSING A FIREARM; OR (D) THE OCCURRENCE OF ANY CIRCUMSTANCE WHICH WOULD HAVE DISQUALIFIED THE HOLDER FROM BEING ISSUED A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE. 12. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO: (A) POLICE OFFICERS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION THIRTY-FOUR OF SECTION 1.20 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW, OR RETIRED POLICE OFFICER, WHO UPON SEPARATION FROM A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY WAS IMMEDIATELY ENTITLED TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS PURSUANT TO THE RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECU- RITY LAW OR THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; (B) PEACE OFFICERS AS DEFINED IN SECTION 2.10 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCE- DURE LAW; (C) LICENSED MANUFACTURERS, TRANSPORTERS AND SELLERS OF FIREARMS WHO POSSESS SUCH WEAPONS FOR PURPOSES OF WHOLESALE OR RETAIL SALES, WHILE ENGAGED IN THE SCOPE OF THEIR LICENSED ACTIVITIES; (D) NONRESIDENTS OF THE STATE PARTICIPATING IN ANY LAWFUL RECREATIONAL FIREARMS RELATED ACTIVITY, AND WHILE IN THE COURSE OF TRAVELING TO AND FROM SUCH RECREATION ACTIVITY; OR (E) ANY PERSON WHO TEMPORARILY POSSESSES A FIREARM IN THE RESIDENCE OR PLACE OF BUSINESS OF THE HOLDER OF A FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE, AND SUCH POSSESSION OCCURS IN THE COURSE OF USING DEADLY PHYSICAL FORCE AUTHORIZED BY ARTICLE THIRTY-FIVE OF THIS CHAPTER. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however, that the provisions of subdivision 9 of section 265.01 of the penal law, as added by section one of this act, and subdivision 2 of section 400.15 of the penal law, as added by section two of this act, shall not apply to any person who possesses a firearm on the effective date of this act, until the ninetieth day after such date.