Editorial: New York shows the way with sensible gun rules that make us safer
That’s in stark contrast to the state of play in Washington, D.C., where Republicans backed by the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment absolutists block every attempt at sensible gun regulation that could make our schools, offices, grocery stores, movie theaters and hospitals safer. Public safety is a major priority for business owners in New York, where gun violence has escalated post-pandemic.
There’s strong evidence that straightforward gun licensing and regulation help save lives: New York’s rate of gun deaths per 100,000 people has remained flat since 2005, while 47 other states saw an increase in the rate. Only California and New Jersey, two other states that have beefed up regulations, saw their rate of gun deaths fall.
New York, the fourth-largest state by population, had the 18th-highest total number of gun deaths in 2020. Background checks in the state have steadily risen, to a peak of 507,000 in 2020.
The state’s reasonable moves to regulate firearms look downright conservative compared to Canada’s response to the shootings; it has moved to fully ban the purchase, sale or import of handguns in addition to a ban on military-style weapons. “In Canada, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right,” an official there told The Associated Press.
Back in New York, elected officials are bracing for a challenge to the new and existing regulations from gun advocates and the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule soon on the state’s concealed-carry licensing process. Hochul has promised a special session if the court deems the state’s rules too broad.
The direction Albany took last week is reassuring. Common-sense gun regulation is the right path forward.