By Kurt Martone
ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) – In an emergency meeting on Wednesday of the School Safety Improvement Team, New York Governor Kathy Hochul proposed tighter gun laws in wake of two high profile mass shootings over the last two weeks in Buffalo, N.Y. and Uvalde, Texas. New York’s gun laws are already the tightest in the country.
“Just because it’s the tightest doesn’t mean that it’s efficient,” said Representative Anna Kelles, a Democrat from the 125th Assembly District which includes Tompkins County.
In the Wednesday meeting, Gov. Hochul proposed increasing the legal age to buy a rifle in New York to 21. Currently, anyone 18 and older can buy a rifle.
“You can more easily in this country right now, purchase a gun, then you can get baby formula. That’s not right. It’s a ridiculous situation that we’re in right now,” Rep. Kelles said.
Lawmakers are currently looking at a package of bills on gun reform. The proposed changes are likely to pass. Albany is looking to expand the background check process, increase scrutiny for pistol permit applicants and limit how and when someone can purchase body armor.
Rep. Kelles believes that New York State and the entire country does not have strict enough gun measures.
“Every other state is even further behind. But as a country, we’re nowhere near where we need to be,” said Rep. Kelles.
Rep. Kelles plans on voting yes to whatever package lawmakers can produce in the three days they have left before they end session until the next year.