In the wake of the Newtown and Webster shootings, it's looking like Albany will put tougher gun control laws into effect, but just how tough depends on who you talk to.
Republican State Senators have one plan, announced by Republican Conference leader Senator Dean Skelos on Saturday afternoon. It emphasizes tougher, mandatory sentences and increases penalties for guns in schools or on school buses, and for shooting first responders.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to address the gun issue in his State of the State speech on Wednesday, but gave an indication that it will include an assault weapons ban, through a statement issued by his office just hours after the Republican plan: "Any gun policy that does not ban assault weapons ignores the reality of gun violence and insults the common sense of New Yorkers."
Here are the details of the Republican proposal:
Stricter Prison Sentencing for Illegal Weapon Possession and Sale
? Increase and strictly enforce mandatory minimum sentences for
criminal weapons possession and sale of illegal weapons.
? Limit plea reductions so that those found in possession of an illegal
handgun or assault weapon, loaded or unloaded, will not be able to
plea down to a lesser crime.
Stiffer Penalties for Criminals Who Use Guns to Commit Felonies
? Increase sentences for criminals who use firearms to commit felonies
by expanding the definition of criminal use of a firearm in the first
degree to include displaying a firearm in the commission of any
felony as opposed to just class B violent felonies.
Increase Penalties for Those Who Murder Emergency Responders
? Increase the penalty for those who kill first responders to a First
Degree Murder offense, punishable with lifetime imprisonment without
the possibility of parole.
? Would apply to cases involving the murder of firefighters, emergency
medical technicians, ambulance drivers, paramedics, physicians or
registered nurses while they are responding to an emergency.
Register and Track Violent Felons
? Create a statewide registry tracking violent felony offenders who are
released from prison.
? Establish annual registration requirements for violent felony
offenders to allow law enforcement agencies and the state to monitor
? The registry would be accessible to the public, similar to the
registry of sex offenders that the state currently has in place.
Increase Penalties for Possession of a Gun on School Grounds and School Buses
? Increase penalties for possession of a weapon on school grounds or on
a school bus from a class A misdemeanor to an E felony.
Longer Sentences for Illegal Gun Sales and Possession in Children's Homes
? Increase the sentence, by an additional two and one-half years, for
criminal possession of a weapon and criminal sale of a firearm when
the offense occurs at the residence of a child under 14; and by an
additional five years if a child under 14 is home when the crime
Gang Violence Reduction
? Gun-related homicide is most prevalent among gangs and during the
commission of felony crimes.
? Keep gangs off school grounds by increasing penalties for individuals
who either coerce victims less than 16 years old, or do so on or near
? Increase penalties for using a firearm while committing a drug
trafficking felony or violent felony offense.
Ban Illegal "Community" Gang Guns
? Create the crime of constructive possession to allow prosecutors to
bring felony charges against anyone who shares or illegally transfers
a gun that is later used in a violent crime. These so-called
"Community Guns" are used by gangs and stored in areas where gang
members have easy access to them.