Here's what states are doing to address gun control

Lawmakers in New York and California are pushing for tighter gun laws

June 1, 2022, 6:26 PM

Just days after two mass shootings took place in New York and Texas, state lawmakers are pushing for tighter gun laws in an effort to mitigate gun violence around the country.

The move from officials in several states comes as federal lawmakers fail to take any action on gun reform in Congress.

This comes after 21 were killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas and a gunman in Buffalo, New York shot and killed 10 people, all of whom were Black.

Here's what state lawmakers are doing on gun violence since:

New York

In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Democrats have introduced 10 bills in the State Assembly and Senate that would tighten gun laws, close loopholes and address gaps exposed in the deadly Buffalo shootings last month, Hochul announced.

"New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country but clearly we need to make them even stronger," Hochul said in a press release.

The proposed bills would require state, local and federal agencies to share information in crimes that involve guns, make it a crime to threaten mass harm and require new guns to be microstamped.

New York lawmakers are also proposing a law that would require an individual to obtain a license to purchase a semiautomatic rifle and requiring them to be at least 21-years-old.

Other bills would prohibit anyone not working in an eligible profession from being able to purchase body armor and strengthen a Red Flag law by expanding the list of people who can file for Extreme Risk Protection Orders and other measures.

PHOTO: In this Jan. 1, 2021, file photo, Delaware Gov. John Carney speaks at an event in New Castle, Del.
In this Jan. 1, 2021, file photo, Delaware Gov. John Carney speaks at an event in New Castle, Del.
Evan Vucci/AP, FILE


Last December, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a proposal he said would include the nation's largest gun buyback program his office said would be "the nation's largest gun buyback program." This includes a one-time fund of $25 million to establish a competitive grant program that would support local gun buyback programs.

"This statewide effort will not only provide opportunities for the safe disposal of firearms, but will also serve to promote awareness about gun and youth violence," Newsom's proposed budget summary for the 2022 - 23 stated.

Newsom's office told ABC News this proposal is "currently moving through the budget negotiation process."

Newsom and California legislators have also fast-tracked gun safety reform bills that were already going through the legislative process, according to Newsom's office.

Bills fast-tracked include one modeled after the Texas abortion ban, which would enable private citizens to sue those who manufacture, distribute, transport, import into California or sell assault weapons, .5 BMG rifles, ghost guns or ghost gun kits, Newsom's office said.

PHOTO: California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the recent mass shooting in Texas, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., on May 25, 2022.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the recent mass shooting in Texas, during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., on May 25, 2022. Flanked by lawmakers from both houses of the state legislature, Newsom said he is ready to sign more restrictive gun measures passed by lawmakers.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP


A permit to purchase bill proposed in Delaware passed in the state Senate and has been stalled in the House for months, according to Sen. Elizabeth Lockman, the majority whip.

Lockman said despite the majority of gun violence in Delaware coming from street violence, the mass shootings have reignited public attention.

Lockman said she has been hearing the renewed push from members of the community; gun control advocates, who have been focused on this all along; and her colleagues.

"I have senators that are part of our caucus, who have been very frustrated in light of recent events that we had, kind of at our fingertips, legislation that we think could really make an impact in the coming years, that's just being left on the table," Lockman said.

The shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, resurfaced attention on gun control, creating urgency among state lawmakers.

"It's just really giving people that 'enough is enough' feeling. And so we have senators taking to various outlets to also speak to their frustration that we haven't been able to pass some more significant pieces of legislation to slow down gun trafficking and access to higher powered, or frequently problematic types of firearms," Lockman said.

The House has made moves indicating interest in pushing forward the proposed permit to purchase law, according to Monisha Henley, Senior Director of State Affairs at Everytown.

"[The House] had a conversation about finance, which is usually a procedure that happens in Delaware if there is a fiscal note on it. And they're currently having ongoing conversations about getting this bill out of the house," Henley told ABC News in an interview.

Henley told ABC News there are also renewed efforts in Rhode Island to push gun safety bills that had lost steam.

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