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Gianaris’s gun bills to make state strictest for firearm sales

This undated photograph released by the Maine State Police shows weapons gathered from the home and vehicle of Timothy Courtois, of Biddeford, Maine, who was arrested Sunday, July 22, 2012 on charges of having a concealed weapon and speeding on the Maine Turnpike. Found in his car were an assault weapon, four handguns and several boxes of ammunition. A search of his home revealed several additional weapons, including a machine gun, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Courtois told authorities he was on his way to Derry, N.H., to shoot a former employer. He also said he had attended the Batman movie the previous night. (AP Photo/Maine State Police)
AP Photo/Maine State Police
By Rebecca Henely

In the wake of the recent mass shootings at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) has introduced a package of bills aimed at making New York state’s gun laws the strongest in the country.

The laws would apply to the state’s classification for firearms, which includes pistols, revolvers, rifles and sawed-off shotguns but excludes weapons used for hunting and sport.

“The recent rash of gun violence makes clear that enough is enough,” Gianaris said in a statement. “It is long past time to improve our gun laws and New York should lead the way.”

If Gianaris’ bills become law, gun buyers would only be able to purchase one gun per month, a universal background check would be required for all gun sales, buyers would be required to complete a gun safety training course and a 10-day waiting period would be created from the sale of a firearm.

Dealers would also be subject to more regulation, such as required permits and insurance. The gun sellers would also need to report all transactions to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, which would keep gun sales on file for at least 10 years.

California, New Jersey and Massachusetts currently have stronger gun laws than New York.

Six people were killed and four others were injured Sunday when the alleged gunman, neo-Nazi musician Wade Michael Page, shot up a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.. according to authorities. Page was later killed by police.

Last month, James Eagan Holmes allegedly killed 12 and wounded 58 others at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo.

Gianaris’ office said shootings in the city have gone up by 12 percent from the beginning of 2012 to early July, compared with the same time period in 2011.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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