Violent Offenders Database Adds To State Gun Bill Debate
In addition to there not being a deal on a state budget, another unresolved issue being tossed around in Albany is a proposed registry for violent offenders when it comes to their involvement in gun crimes. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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A shooting Wednesday morning in the upstate communities of Herkimer and Mohawk have once again put the focus on guns and violent crime. Four people were killed with a shotgun.
In January, the state legislature approved the New York Safe Act, which toughens gun laws. The Cuomo administration has taken backlash from gun enthusiasts ever since.
Some lawmakers have even vowed to amend the law.
State Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein included a change in the senate's one-house budget resolution this week.
"Well one of the reasons why we modified the governor's proposed gun database is because we want to enhance it to actually include gun crimes. Individuals who are convicted of serious crimes using a gun," Klein said.
The database would be similar to a sex offender registry. Violent felons would need to register as such, and their names would be made public.
The registry was first proposed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Junior.
Bronx lawmakers have been supportive.
"This is also about the people who are choosing to be in these types of crimes. And we want to make sure that these people are exposed and the community has a right to know who among us is responsible for these gun crimes," said State Assemblyman Marco Crespo.
"I recognize that south Bronx and many of the challenges I face including the proliferation of guns, gun violence with youth in our community is a great one. So this is a step in the right direction," said State Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson
Governor Cuomo has resisted changes to the Safe Act. Klein diverted money allocated for its implementation to create the database and registry.
"No, it is not part of the Safe Act. And I don't think I understand the borough president's proposal. But it is not part of the Safe Act," Cuomo said.
Opponents of the Safe Act went to court this week to ask for an injunction. But a state judge refused to grant it, arguing that the court of appeals has already ruled that manner in which the act was passed, under a sped up timetable, is in fact legal.