ALBANY – Senate Republicans in Albany blocked an effort by Democrats Wednesday to force a vote on four gun control bills.
The legislation was introduced as a response to renewed calls for gun restrictions in the wake of the mass shooting at a public high school in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14.
The bills from Democratic senators would have strengthened the state’s background check system and set aside state funding for research into firearm violence. Others would have banned bump stocks and created a new court order of protection to bar people considered to be a danger to themselves or others from possessing or buying guns.
Democrats used a procedural move to try to bring the measures to the floor for a vote but were overruled by the Senate’s GOP majority, who said the party is already working on its own legislative proposals that focus on school security and stronger restrictions on access to firearms by those with mental illness.
The state hasn’t passed any new gun legislation since Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed through several restrictions on firearms five years ago via the SAFE Act in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.
Last week Cuomo announced a new partnership with New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and Puerto Rico to share more information about illegal firearms.
On Wednesday he criticized federal officials for considering changes to gun laws that are “incremental at best.”