Assemblymember Hunter’s Bill to Close Loophole in Gun Background Checks Signed into Law

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) announced that her legislation to require out-of-state residents to waive the confidentiality of their home state mental illness records when they apply for a gun license in New York has been signed into law (A.1213).

“As the frequency of mass shootings continues to rise, New York is stepping up and leading the charge for commonsense gun safety measures,” Hunter said. “This law will not take firearms away from responsible gun owners who use them for sporting, hunting or personal protection. But it will save lives by closing a glaring loophole in background check procedures and help keep guns out of the hands of those who have shown that they are likely to hurt themselves or others. I want to thank my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate for their near unanimous support of this measure and the governor for signing it into law.”

The new law closes a dangerous loophole that prevents New York authorities from accessing out-of-state residents’ mental health records when they apply for a firearm license in New York. Additionally, the governor signed into law a measure Hunter supported allowing law enforcement officers to access records for firearm license applications upon request, which will let officers know if there may be a gun on the premises when responding to calls (A.7739).

As the epidemic of gun violence has continued to plague communities across the state, Hunter has fought to keep Syracuse residents safe. Hunter’s legislation was part of a gun safety package she passed, which included other measures such as establishing an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) to keep guns out of the wrong hands, banning bump stocks and ensuring a thorough background check (Ch 19, Ch 130, Ch 129 of 2019). Responsible New Yorkers have every right to own a gun, but no one should fear for their life whenever they step out of the house, Hunter noted.