Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law a series of gun control bills Monday in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Buffalo.
The legislation would further restrict access to firearms in a state with already tight restrictions.
Under the new laws it will be more difficult to purchase firearms and body armor. Additionally, new programs will be created that will track firearms and ammunition as well as suspected criminals, according to the governor’s website.
“I speak to you today as the governor of a state in mourning and the citizen of a nation in crisis … It just keeps happening. Shots ring out,” Hochul said at a press conference. “Flags come down, and nothing ever changes — except here in New York.”
The legislation has received backlash by New York Republicans, who argue the laws do not address the real issue facing New Yorkers: violent crime.
Today I’m proud to sign a comprehensive bill package that, among other reforms:
✅ Bans semiautomatic gun sales to people under 21
✅ Bans body armor sales except to those in select professions
✅ Requires microstamping for new semiautomatic guns
✅ Strengthens our Red Flag Law
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) June 6, 2022
“In typical Albany fashion, Kathy Hochul is following in the footsteps of her mentor, Andrew Cuomo, and focused on making cheap headlines for her primary instead of making New Yorkers safe,” New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “If Hochul and legislative leaders cared about shooting victims, they would vote today to repeal their disastrous bail laws that has turned our streets over to violent criminals.”
Other Republicans have argued that the new laws ignore mental health issues.
“This gun control package addresses everything except for the core issue of mental health,” Republican New York State Assembly candidate Anil Beephan told TheDCNF. “Albany must address rising crime across the state, but the conversation needs to start with mental health, not unconstitutional gun control.”
Hochul has also received some criticism from her own party. In a campaign ad, Democratic congressman and gubernatorial candidate Tom Suozzi bashed Hochul for past endorsements from the National Rifle Association during her time in Congress.
Hochul’s office did not respond to TheDCNF for comment.