Elected officials from the Bronx are pushing for a statewide gun registry that would identify those found guilty of gun crimes to be included in the state budget, but the measure is facing some opposition. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
ALBANY - Last week, the state Senate passed its budget resolution. It included a little-noticed program to institute a statewide gun registry.
"Last year, borough president Ruben Diaz [Jr.] from the Bronx actually proposed this. We talked about it, and this was something that I fought last year to get in our one-house budget resolution," said state Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein. "I think it makes common sense 'cause it's really modeled after Megan's law database for sexual predators."
The registry would include the names of people who had recently been convicted of a gun crime.
According to Bronx elected officials, it would cost $2.5 million, a relatively small amount of money in a $137 billion state budget.
"When you look at the amount of gun violence that happens in the Bronx, it's good for people to know who certain residents are, who their neighbors are that may have been in trouble with a gun in the past," said Assemblyman Carl Heastie of the Bronx. "So it's like a safety measure."
"There are so many different registries that we have, so it seems almost like a no-brainier that we would have a registry of people recently convicted of gun crimes," said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of the Bronx.
However, some Republicans are opposed to any measures perceived as being anti-gun. They are still smarting over the Safe Act, pushed through the legislature by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year in response to the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut.
"It's a feel-good measure. Won't keep anybody safe," said Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor of Duchess County, N.Y. "Even on the floor in the assembly when we passed the Safe Act, many of the proponents of that bill admitted that it wouldn't keep us any safer."
Because Republicans were so unhappy about the Safe Act last year, it would seem that this gun registry also faces hurdles, but Klein is pushing to include in the final budget, which is due at the end of the month.