New York Extends Waiting Period For Some Gun Purchases

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ALBANY – New York is extending the waiting period for certain gun purchases from three days to 30 days to give authorities more time to run background checks.

The change signed into law Monday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will apply when a federal instant background check returns inconclusive results for a potential gun buyer.

Instant background checks are used to instantly approve or deny gun purchases. When the system turns up details requiring further scrutiny, dealers are directed to delay the sale.

The state’s new 30-day wait will give authorities time to run deeper background checks. Gun control advocates say the required three-day federal waiting period isn’t always long enough. They also say longer waiting periods offer a “cooling off” period that can discourage rash acts of violence.

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, some 3,800 people each year are able to complete a firearm purchase after the three-day waiting period, even if the background check is ongoing.

“Stronger background checks will help keep guns away from dangerous people,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens and the Senate sponsor of the bill.

The change, which applies to all federally licensed gun dealers in the state, will take effect in September.

Cuomo also signed legislation Monday that bans bump stocks, devices that increase the firing pace of semi-automatic weapons. Bump stocks are already banned at the federal level.

Both bills were approved by lawmakers earlier this year in an effort to further bolster state gun laws, already considered to be some of the strongest in the nation.

In February, Cuomo signed into law a measure allowing teachers and school administrators to alert a judge about students they worry could be a danger to themselves or others. The judge would then have the power to order a mental evaluation of the student and order the removal of firearms from their home.

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