The Independent Democratic Conference called on members of the legislature to support a bill introduced by State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) [above] that will not only stop individuals on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s terror watch list or federal no-fly list from purchasing guns, but will empower New York State Police to confiscate firearms already owned by these individuals . . .
“No gun should ever wind up in the hand of a suspected terrorist in New York State and after the tragedies in San Bernadino and Paris we will remain vigilant and protect our citizens by disarming anyone who poses a threat to innocent people. It’s an outrage that anyone argues that terrorists deserve Second Amendment rights. We have the right to protect law-abiding New Yorkers who have already experienced terror first hand. I’m calling on lawmakers to support my legislation and take a stand against terror,” said State Senator Jeff Klein.
Klein’s legislation, the Deny Firearms to Dangerous Terrorists Act, was introduced in the State Senate on Friday. It amends the New York State SAFE Act by banning any person on the FBI’s terrorist screening database or federal no fly list from obtaining a New York State issued gun license.
The comprehensive bill also goes a step further by empowering New York State Police to confiscate firearms from suspected terrorists on either list, as well as revoke their license to carry the weapon, under the proposal. The bill provides notification to an individual in writing within 30 days of a gun license being revoked.
The Superintendent of the New York State Police, under this proposal, would sweep both databases once a year to ensure that all appropriate law enforcement agencies are notified and firearms are confiscated.
On Sunday, Governor Cuomo and US Senator Chuck Schumer announced that they planned to close the “terror gap,” by banning the sale of firearms to anyone on a federal terror watch list or no-fly list.
No federal law forbids the sharing of data between federal and state law enforcement agencies, and with a Presidential executive order the information can flow. Congressional gridlock on the issue necessitates passing the Deny Firearms to Dangerous Terrorists Act or similar legislation on a state-by-state basis.
Enacting this measure immediately sends a strong message to the federal government.
“Now, more than ever, it is vital that we take action. I join my IDC colleagues in urging President Obama to allow state access to the terrorist watch and no-fly lists, so that we can ensure that all New Yorkers are kept safe and protected from the threat of terror,” said State Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida).
“We must act quickly to pass this important legislation. While the federal government stagnates on gun control, the IDC is taking action. By passing this legislation immediately, New York State will send a message to our nation – we will not tolerate guns in the hands of suspected terrorists, while citizens are left at risk. This bill would not only ban the sale of firearms to individuals on the no-fly and terrorist watch lists, it would additionally empower the New York State Police to revoke the license of anyone on these lists, and confiscate their weapons. When it comes to protecting New Yorkers, we must be swift and thorough, and that is why I am joining my IDC colleagues in calling for the legislature to pass the Deny Firearms to Dangerous Terrorists Act,” said State Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn).
“As inaction in Congress continues, it is now on us to enact commonsense laws that will protect law abiding New Yorkers from harm. Terrorists and anyone on the no-fly list must not only be restricted from legally acquiring firearms, but proper procedures must be in place to confiscate firearms should they fall into their hands. I join my fellow IDC members in support of the Deny Firearms to Dangerous Terrorists Act, and urge my colleagues in the legislature to pass this law,” said State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland).
“Suspending a suspected terrorist’s ability to obtain and possess a firearm while they’re on the no-fly list is a common sense measure in the wake of worldwide terrorist attacks. There is a reason that these individuals have been barred from air travel and if the FBI feels that they are a potential liability, we should absolutely factor that assessment in regard to their ability to bear firearms. As elected officials, we are responsible for doing everything we can to keep our constituents safe and that starts by not allowing weapons to fall into the hands of terrorists,” said State Senator Tony Avella (D-Queens).