New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has acknowledged an existing New York gun control law failed to prevent the Buffalo mass shooting last weekend, a fact supported during an NPR interview with a leading gun control advocate.
According to Vox, “In 2019, New York enacted an extreme risk prevention law, otherwise known as a ‘red flag law,’ that can bar individuals who are believed to pose a danger to themselves or others from possessing firearms. New York state police decided not to invoke that law against the Buffalo shooter, who didn’t have a previous criminal record, but had made serious threats of violence.”
So, Hochul has issued an executive order requiring police to do that in the future.
But there is more. As reported by WHEC News, “The governor is asking lawmakers to pass a bill to cover ‘other weapons,’ firearms that because of details of their makeup, like stock size, grips or lack of them, or barrel length, don’t currently fall under the current legal definition of guns for the application of measures like the SAFE Act…She’s also calling for a law to require ‘microstamping’ to make sure every bullet can be traced back to the gun that fired it.”
None of these measures would have prevented the Tops supermarket shooting in Buffalo, and microstamping remains an unproven technology.
Appearing at NPR, Nick Suplina, senior vice president for law and policy with Everytown for Gun Safety, acknowledged the extreme risk law was not enforced.
“We’re still trying to understand why it was not used here,” he said, insisting the law “could have prevented this tragedy.”
He also admitted “New York does, in fact, have some of the toughest gun laws in the country.”
But those laws failed in Buffalo, and a leading Second Amendment group says the concealed carry permit law is at least partly to blame.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said this week such tragedies might be averted or stopped if New York state law allowed more people to exercise their right to carry.
“New York’s current gun control laws make it difficult to impossible for law-abiding citizens of all races to obtain carry permits,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb noted. “Apparently the shooter staked out this particular market, because he knew there would be no resistance to what is a despicable hate crime.”
As more is learned about the alleged killer, it is becoming clearer a great deal of planning apparently preceded the attack.
“To suggest stricter anti-gun-rights laws are the answer to such an evil act is absurd,” Gottlieb stated. “Instead of making it possible and affordable for average citizens to obtain carry permits for personal protection, New York authorities have stubbornly maintained a permit system that reeks of political favoritism, demagoguery and elitism. It is no wonder this system is now facing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that we hope will overturn the current law.”
Gottlieb was referring to the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which is currently awaiting a high court ruling. That decision is expected to be handed down late next month, and if it strikes down the current “good cause” requirement in New York to obtain a carry permit, the door could swing open for many Empire State residents to legally arm themselves, to fight back.
“Every citizen, regardless of ethnicity or economic condition, deserves better than they’ve gotten from lawmakers in Albany for generations,” Gottlieb said. “The victims in Buffalo had no chance at all. It is deplorable that the only idea from Gov. Kathy Hochul is to ask for even more restrictions on New York gun owners, and to suggest more gun control on a national scale. That’s not a plan, it’s the perpetuation of an already failed strategy disguised as a plan, and anyone with an ounce of common sense knows it.”
Still, Everytown’s Suplina tried to shift blame away from restrictive gun control and lax enforcement to the firearms industry.
According to an NPR transcription of the interview, Suplina asserted, “One culprit here that too often avoids scrutiny is the gun industry itself. The weapon that was purchased in New York was easily modified. And it needn’t be easily modified. But gun manufacturers continue to make deadly weapons that can be changed easily.”
The alleged modifications have not been detailed, though the suspect allegedly did use an original capacity, which is already banned in New York. That was another gun law failure. Suplina insisted the firearms industry be held accountable for such crimes.
Gottlieb has a far different perspective, which he explained after Joe Biden visited Buffalo earlier this week, calling for additional gun controls, including a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
“Half of the states have adopted permitless carry to make it possible for citizens like the ones murdered in Buffalo to fight back,” Gottlieb observed. “It never occurs to politicians such as Hochul or Biden that they have been wrong on gun rights all along. But they have been disastrously wrong, and the proof is the police tape around the Tops supermarket in Buffalo.”