Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed raising the age to buy guns to 21 in addition to increasing police patrols of schools across the state.
These actions came as response to the mass shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of at least 21 people, including 19 elementary school children.
Hochul questioned how an 18-year old can purchase an AR-15 in New York State when they’re not old enough to buy a legal drink, “I want to work with the legislature to change that. I want it to be 21. I think that’s just common sense because as we’ve just seen for the two horrific crimes that we can’t get out of our minds, what happened in Buffalo, what happened in a school, children in Texas? The common denominator, there are three, the weapon was an AR-15. The perpetrator was a male. And the age of the perpetrator was 18. I don’t want 18-year-olds to have guns at least not in the State of New York.”
Hochul already is working with the Legislature to pass two bills to address and streamline the investigation of gun-related crimes. The first would set forth a process to require semi-automatic pistols manufactured or delivered to licensed dealers in New York to be microstamping-enabled. The second piece of legislation would strengthen gun reporting protocols by requiring all law enforcement agencies to report the recovery of any crime gun within 24 hours of their discovery.
Hochul said the increased police presence includes check-ins at schools to be conducted by both uniform and plainclothes members. This effort will continue through the end of the school year.
In Jamestown, Jamestown High School and Washington Middle School were placed under a lockout Wednesday afternoon for a short time period.
Jamestown Public Schools said in a statement that a “suspicious individual was observed outside the high school and a lockout was activated as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of students and staff inside the school. A lockout was also activated at Washington Middle School as a precautionary measure related to a person of interest that JPD was looking for.”
The district said a lockout means that no one is allowed entry into the school, outside classes are brought inside, and interior operations continue as normal. Officials said Jamestown Police responded immediately and verified there was no immediate threat.