Mayors from around New York state on Tuesday urged top Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly to take up a new gun control measure in the waning days of the legislative session.
The proposal, backed by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy and Sen. Zellnor Myrie, would make it easier for civil lawsuits to be brought against firearm manufacturers. The measure would expand the state's existing public nuisance law by adding gun makers who fail to take proper or reasonable safe guards to have their product fall into the wrong hands.
The push comes amid renewed concerns over shootings in upstate cities and around the country. The mayors in a letter to top lawmakers pointed to the millions of dollars in costs associated with shootings in their cities.
"Our cities need this tool, and in the face of federal inaction on the issue, it is up to you, our state legislative leaders, to provide it," the mayors wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. "We need accountability for the wrongs that have been committed,and we need to incentivize a change in behavior to stem the flow of illegal guns. Pass this bill, helpus save lives and serve as a model for the rest of the country."
Supporters of the bill are trying to tackle the flow of illegal guns into New York, which already has some of the country's most stringent gun regulations on the books.
The bill is being proposed in the final days of the scheduled session, which is due to end on June 10.
"We have seen a heartbreaking and devastating uptick in gun violence across New York State, including in the Capital Region,” Fahy said. “Local governments, law enforcement agencies and families of victims affected by gun violence need another tool in their arsenal in the fight to stop the flow of illegal guns into New York, and finally break the ‘Iron Pipeline.' ”