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New York bans ghost guns and firearms that look like toys

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signs a package of legislation on Oct. 28, 2021, in Westbury, New York, to combat the gun violence epidemic and to address ghost guns in New York communities.
Kevin P. Coughlin
/
Office of the New York Governor
New York Governor Kathy Hochul signs a package of legislation on Oct. 28, 2021, in Westbury, New York, to combat the gun violence epidemic and to address ghost guns in New York communities.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that bans untraceable firearms known as “ghost guns” in an effort to combat the state’s gun violence emergency.

The trio of laws will also require all gun parts to be registered with a serial number, and will ban firearms designed to look like toys.

“We want to continue to solidify New York State's reputation as having the toughest gun laws in America because gun violence has not abated,” Hochul said, noting that ghost gun seizures have increased nearly 480% statewide over the last three years. Ghost guns are untraceable, unserialized firearms. Kits can be purchased online and they can be assembled at home.

“We cannot say, ‘We have laws in place and we're going to rest on that,’” Hochul said. “We have to keep challenging ourselves to address the problems as they keep arising and as technology changes, and as the criminals become more clever trying to evade our laws.”

One of the laws was named in honor of Long Island native Scott Beigel, a teacher who was killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. His mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, became a gun control advocate after his death.

“From that day on, I made a vow to myself and to my son that I would do everything I could to put an end to the epidemic of senseless and preventable gun violence,” Beigel Schulman said at the bill-signing ceremony at Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury.

“And I would do this through both education and legislation,” she said. “With the hard work and dedication of Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature, we now put another tool in the toolbox of law enforcement to make that happen.”

Several states, including Connecticut, have passed similar laws that restrict untraceable guns.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.