ALBANY, N.Y. - New York has become the first state to dramatically stiffen its gun laws after last month's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.
With Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature Tuesday, parts of the measure that sped through the Legislature in two days
take effect immediately.
The law calls for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to try to keep guns away from mentally ill people who make threats.
It also calls for background checks on ammunition, a ban on large magazines, stiffer penalties for gun crimes and background checks even on private sales, such as those at gun shows.
Mental health professionals will be required to report any patient who they believe to be a threat to use a gun illegally. The patient's gun could be confiscated.
Highlights of NY gun control bill --
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Provisions in a sweeping gun control bill before the New York Legislature:
-Further restrict assault weapons to define them by a single feature, such as a pistol grip.
Current law requires two features.
-Make the unsafe storage of assault weapons a misdemeanor.
-Mandate a police registry of assault weapons.
-Establish a state registry for all private sales,
with a background check done through a licensed dealer for a fee, excluding sales to immediate relatives.
-Require a therapist
who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally to report
the threat to a mental health director who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient's gun could be taken from him or her.
-Ban the Internet sale
of assault weapons.
-Require stores that sell ammunition to register
with the state, run background checks on buyers of bullets and
keep an electronic database of bullet sales.
-Restrict ammunition magazines to seven bullets,
from the current national standard of 10. Current owners of higher-capacity magazines would have a year to sell them out of state. Someone caught with eight or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge.
-Require that stolen guns be reported within 24 hours.
Otherwise, the owner would face a possible misdemeanor.
-Increase sentences for gun crimes including for taking a gun on school property.
-Increase penalties for shooting first responders, called the "Webster provision."
Two firefighters were killed when shot by a person who set a fire in the western New York town of Webster last month. The crime would be punishable by life in prison without parole.
-Limit the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly.
The provision would allow a handgun permit holder a means to maintain privacy under the Freedom of Information law.
-Require pistol permit holders or those who will be registered as owners of assault rifles to be recertified at least every five years
to make sure they are still legally able to own the guns.