Sen. Jose Peralta, sponsor of the microstamping bill, urges the Senate to take the bill up for a vote. Photo by AP.
March 26, 2012The fight to enact microstamping legislation continues, in spite of the bill being pulled from the Senate Codes Committee and recommitted to the Rules Committee last week. Microstamping bill sponsor Sen. Jose Peralta, D-Jackson Heights and gun control advocates are calling for action from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Senate to get the bill passed this session. Peralta called for Senate Republicans to bring the bill (S.675-c) to a vote.
"Rather than unilaterally substituting your own judgment for that of district attorneys and chiefs of police from all over the state, put microstamping to a vote," said Peralta. "Listen to — and let the public hear — the arguments put forth in support of microstamping by law enforcement and [then, by comparison] those advanced by the National Rifle Association in opposition to the bill."
Peralta asks Senate Republicans to listen to law enforcement officers when they explain how microstamping can help, but also understand the counterargument that microstamping "somehow constitutes an assault on the Second Amendment rights of sportsmen and law-abiding gun owners. Weigh those arguments to yourselves," said Peralta. "Then vote your conscience."
The bill calls for all semiautomatic handguns sold in New York state to have the firing pin imprinted with numbers and letters signifying the make, model and serial number of the weapon. The alpha-numeric code is transferred from the firing pin to the shell casing that is ejected when the gun is fired, often left at crime scenes. Police can use the information on the casing to better solve crimes when no other evidence is left at a scene, say proponents of the microstamping bill.
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, along with law enforcement officers and gun control advocates implore Cuomo to include microstamping legislation in the final state budget.
Microstamping would imprint the make, model and serial number onto the firing pin of semiautomatic handguns. Photo by AP.
"As members of the New York law enforcement community, crime victims group and the families of gun violence victims, we know all too well about the deadly consequences of gun violence," they write in an open letter addressed to Cuomo. "We urge you to stand up for the safety of New York's communities by including language requiring microstamping … in the 2012-2013 budget. We greatly appreciate your work to pass legislation that expands DNA to stop criminals and we believe microstamping would provide 'DNA for guns'"
Meanwhile, the Senate passed two measures last Wednesday to combat gun crimes by enhancing penalties in gun crimes endangering children.
Sen. Martin Golden, R-Brooklyn, sponsored both bills which increase prison sentences for gun crimes. The first bill, S.1407, upgrades criminal use of a firearm to a class B violent felony and amends the definition of criminal use of a firearm in the first degree to include displaying a firearm in the commission of any and all felonies. The second, S.2169, adds two and a half years to a sentence of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal sale of a firearm when occurring in the house of a child under 14 and increases the sentence by an additional five years if the child under 14 is home when the crime is committed.
"As a former New York City police officer, I have seen first-hand the fear and devastation caused by criminals with guns," said Golden. "People who use force to terrorize and prey upon others must be punished to the fullest extent of the law."
Former NYPD Detective Steven McDonald was shot in the line of duty. The incident left him a quadriplegic dependant on a respirator. McDonald, an outspoken advocate for microstamping, visited the Capitol in 2010 to speak at a microstamping conference. Photo by Gazette file.