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NY Bill Would Require People To Prove Sanity Before Buying Guns

New York State Senator James Sanders' proposed law changes would apply to all firearms exchanges in the state.

Albany, NY – New York lawmakers are considering a bill that would require anyone seeking to purchase a firearm to complete a mental health evaluation first.

SB 7065, which was introduced by State Senator James Sanders, a Democrat, would require prospective gun buyers to prove their mental fitness prior to a background check being conducted.

Such “proof” would need to be presented “before any sale, exchange, or disposal of a firearm, rifle or shotgun at a gun show, by a federally licensed dealer or private sale, including when such sale, exchange or disposal is between immediate family members,” according to the bill.

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Purchasers would be required to “provide the seller with proof of his or her approval to purchase” such weapons after submitting to an evaluation through a process that would be established by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

The Commissioner of Mental Health would be tasked with establishing regulations “relating to mental health professionals approved to perform the evaluation, the process for evaluation, and the development of a standardized form to be used by mental health professionals” performing the evaluations, according to the bill.

Failure to abide by the proposed law would result in a felony charge of criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

“The many recent tragic events have clearly demonstrated the need to prevent those with mental health problems from obtaining guns,” the proposed law change read. “This bill will help to protect our citizens and prevent the death of innocent people.”

If signed into law, the regulations would go into effect 180 days later.

Sanders has repeatedly blamed President Donald Trump for mass shootings that have taken place across the country, alleging that he has caused “hate” to fester due in part to his stand against illegal immigration.

“We have a President, who on many occasions, referred to Mexican people as drug dealers and rapists, a President who advocated for building a wall to keep these so-called dangerous people out,” Sanders said in a press release in 2019.

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“The President must not only strengthen gun laws, but also lead by example, and consistently remind citizens that violence is wrong and that whenever possible, people should try to work out their problems peacefully,” the senator declared. “How can he stand before the citizens of this country and tell them that we will not tolerate hatred, when he constantly spews hate? It’s a clear case of do as I say not as I do.”

Holly Matkin - February Thu, 2020

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