Recently, New York has been working diligently to pass new legislation addressing gun violence and disputes. In early June, Governor Kathy Hochul signed ten new bills that the New York Senate and Assembly passed to tighten laws around gun purchases following the recent mass shootings.
At the Albany legislative session, legislators’ primary objective was to raise the minimum age of acquiring a semi-automatic rifle to 21. New York won’t be the first state to do so; other states including California, Hawaii, Florida, Illinois, Vermont, and Washington have also taken similar steps. Prior to the legislation, in New York, to possess a long gun, an individual must be of at least 16 years of age.
Preventative measures have also been taken to assist law enforcement in examining evidence from firearms used in a crime, or ballistics investigations. This law includes a requirement to microstamp every bullet shot out of new guns purchased. The state has also passed legislation that would deny citizens from purchasing bullet-resistant vests.
The U.S. Supreme Court may release a ruling on whether to overturn the New York Concealed Carry Law. This law states that one must submit a reasoning for self-protection in order to acquire a permit. Numerous court observers also expect the Supreme Court to overturn a law that limits the ability for people to carry a gun outside their house. New York is also expanding the “red flag” law to increase the list of people who can file for extreme risk protection orders. This will allow the state to temporarily take away arms from people who pose a danger to themselves or others. As we move forward, we can expect gun laws in New York to continuously get stricter.
Security-related changes have been administered not only at the state level, but also at the county and school district level. For example, the Office of the County Executive and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety told Blind Brook, “The Westchester County Police recently organized the first in a series of information and training seminars that brought School Resource Officers and school administrators together from all across Westchester to collaborate on best practices to keep schools, students and staff safe. The County Police are also available to assist any school community, if needed, with a physical security assessment of its buildings and grounds.” Additionally, Westchester County is “recommending improvements to doors, windows, and other possible points of entry to a school building.”
Likewise, the Principal of the Blind Brook High School, Dr. Chirles, stated that “the administrative team works collaboratively with the security consultant Altaris… to develop building safety plans which are reviewed annually.” The school has a Building Emergency Response Team and a District Emergency Response Team. Additionally, they “also continually review… safety and security measures after each drill or event (fire, lockout, lockdown, shelter in place, stay in place).”