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S01048 Summary:

Add Art 39-DDDD §§898-a - 898-e, Gen Bus L
Relates to the dangers to the safety and health of the public caused by the sale, manufacturing, importing and marketing of firearms and whether such activity constitutes a public nuisance.
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S01048 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     January 6, 2021
          PARKER, RAMOS, RIVERA, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and
          when  printed  to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection
          -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered  reprinted  as  amended
          and recommitted to said committee
        AN  ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to the dangers to
          safety and health and creation of a  public  nuisance  caused  by  the
          sale, manufacturing, distribution, importing and marketing of firearms
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative findings and  intent.  The  legislature  hereby
     2  finds  that  the  illegal  use of firearms not only constitutes a public
     3  nuisance as declared in article 400 of  the  penal  law,  but  that  the
     4  effects  of  such nuisance contribute to the public health crisis of gun
     5  violence in this state as declared by the legislature in  the  2021-2022
     6  legislative  session.  This  nuisance poses specific harm to New Yorkers
     7  based largely on their zip code and  certain  immutable  characteristics
     8  such as race and ethnicity.  Illegal firearm violence has disproportion-
     9  ately  affected  underserved black and brown neighborhoods in our cities
    10  and throughout the state despite stringent state and local laws  against
    11  the  illegal  possession  of  firearms while, according to the Bureau of
    12  Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives statistics,  74%  of  firearms
    13  used  in crimes in New York are purchased outside of New York. Thus, the
    14  legislature further finds that given the ease at  which  legal  firearms
    15  flow  into  the  illegal  market,  and  given  the specific harm illegal
    16  firearm violence causes certain New Yorkers, those responsible  for  the
    17  illegal  or  unreasonable  sale, manufacture, distribution, importing or
    18  marketing of firearms may be held liable for the public nuisance  caused
    19  by  such  activities.    Additionally,  many New Yorkers, including many
    20  children, are gravely injured  or  killed  unintentionally  due  to  the
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 1048--A                          2
     1  firearm  industry's  failure to implement reasonable safety measures and
     2  the legislature finds that this failure also warrants liability.
     3    §  2.  The  general  business  law  is amended by adding a new article
     4  39-DDDD to read as follows:
     5                               ARTICLE 39-DDDD
     7  Section 898-a. Definitions.
     8          898-b. Prohibited activities.
     9          898-c. Public nuisance.
    10          898-d. Enforcement.
    11          898-e. Private right of action.
    12    § 898-a. Definitions. For purposes  of  this  article,  the  following
    13  terms shall have the following meanings:
    14    1.  "Deceptive  acts  or  practices"  shall  have  the same meaning as
    15  defined in article twenty-two-A of this chapter.
    16    2.   "Reasonable controls and procedures"  shall  mean  policies  that
    17  include,  but  are  not limited to: (a) instituting screening, security,
    18  inventory and other business practices to prevent  thefts  of  qualified
    19  products  as  well  as  sales of qualified products to straw purchasers,
    20  traffickers, persons prohibited from possessing firearms under state  or
    21  federal  law,  or  persons at risk of injuring themselves or others; and
    22  (b) preventing deceptive acts and practices and  false  advertising  and
    23  otherwise   ensuring   compliance   with   all   provisions  of  article
    24  twenty-two-A of this chapter.
    25    3. "False advertising" shall have the same meaning as defined in arti-
    26  cle twenty-two-A of this chapter.
    27    4. "Gun industry member"  shall  mean  a  person,  firm,  corporation,
    28  company,  partnership,  society, joint stock company or any other entity
    29  or association engaged in the sale, manufacturing, distribution, import-
    30  ing or marketing of  firearms,  ammunition,  ammunition  magazines,  and
    31  firearms accessories.
    32    5.  The terms "knowingly" and "recklessly" shall have the same meaning
    33  as defined in section 15.05 of the penal law.
    34    6. "Qualified product" shall have the same meaning as  defined  in  15
    35  U.S.C. section 7903(4).
    36    §  898-b. Prohibited activities. 1. No gun industry member, by conduct
    37  either unlawful in itself or unreasonable under  all  the  circumstances
    38  shall knowingly or recklessly create, maintain or contribute to a condi-
    39  tion in New York state that endangers the safety or health of the public
    40  through  the  sale, manufacturing, importing or marketing of a qualified
    41  product.
    42    2. All gun industry members who, either directly or indirectly,  manu-
    43  facture,  market,  import or offer for sale any qualified product in New
    44  York state shall establish and utilize reasonable  controls  and  proce-
    45  dures  to  prevent  its  qualified  products from being possessed, used,
    46  marketed or sold unlawfully in New York state.  All  such  gun  industry
    47  members  shall also require downstream distributors and retailers of its
    48  qualified products to institute reasonable controls and  procedures  and
    49  take reasonable steps to ensure their implementation.
    50    §  898-c. Public nuisance. 1. A violation of subdivision one or two of
    51  section eight hundred ninety-eight-b of this  article  that  results  in
    52  harm to the public shall hereby be declared to be a public nuisance.
    53    2.  The existence of a public nuisance shall not depend on whether the
    54  gun industry member acted for the purpose of causing harm to the public.
    55    3. The acts or omissions of a gun industry member shall  constitute  a
    56  proximate  cause  of the public nuisance if the harm to the public was a

        S. 1048--A                          3
     1  reasonably foreseeable effect of such acts or omissions, notwithstanding
     2  any intervening actions, including but not limited to  criminal  actions
     3  by third parties.
     4    §  898-d.  Enforcement.    Whenever there shall be a violation of this
     5  article, the attorney general, in the name of the people of the state of
     6  New York, or the town  attorney,  city  corporation  counsel,  or  other
     7  lawfully  designated  enforcement  officer  of  a  municipality or local
     8  government, on behalf of the locality, may bring an action in a court of
     9  competent jurisdiction to enjoin and restrain  such  violations  and  to
    10  obtain restitution and damages.
    11    §  898-e.  Private  right  of action. Any person, firm, corporation or
    12  association that has been damaged as a result of a gun industry member's
    13  acts or omissions in violation of this  article  shall  be  entitled  to
    14  bring an action for recovery of damages or to enforce this article.
    15    §  3.  Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdi-
    16  vision, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by  any  court  of
    17  competent  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
    18  impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
    19  its  operation  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
    20  or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
    21  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
    22  the legislature that this act would  have  been  enacted  even  if  such
    23  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
    24    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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