New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a sweeping package of gun control bills into law Monday, calling gun violence “a disease that is tearing our nation apart.”
The state legislature passed and Hochul signed into law 10 bills that will implement new restrictions on gun ownership, including raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle in New York from 18 to 21 years old. Democratic lawmakers claim the new gun control measures will close “loopholes” in existing laws that were exposed by the deadly mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas last month.
In addition to raising the age to purchase a rifle, lawmakers banned the sale of bulletproof armor for anyone not in law enforcement, strengthened the state’s red flag law to take guns away from mentally unstable people, and introduced new requirements for social media companies to monitor and report “hateful conduct” on their platforms.
“Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing our country apart. Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this, but taking strong action will,” Hochul said in a statement.