According to the New York Times, the Associated Press and NJ.com last night, the group One Million Moms for Gun Control staged a march on New York City Hall yesterday, calling on Congress to follow New York's example on tough gun control. The group said the march, which started in Brooklyn and spanned the Brooklyn Bridge, was inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of nonviolence. The number of marchers numbered approximately 200 people, reported the New York Times last night.
… [the Police] Commissioner said tighter laws on assault weapons are a start, but also added that handguns are used in most of the crimes within the city — most of them brought into New York illegally. -- NJ.com
The Associated Press further reported that several members of the New York City Council, as well as the New York State Assembly and Senate also joined the One Million Moms for Gun Control march. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was also in attendance, and called the event "a manifestation of the growing momentum for change." Ominously for gun rights activists, the Associated Press paraphrases the Commissioner as saying "tighter laws on assault weapons are a start," but that "handguns are used in most of the crimes within the city — most of them brought into New York illegally."
New York recently enacted the nation's strictest gun control laws, and was the first to respond with legislative action following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. New York Republican lawmakers and gun rights proponents argued that the new laws were "rammed through the Legislature" without due consideration or deliberation of Second Amendment rights, according to the Huffington Post last week.
According to MSN, Assemblyman James Tedisco of Schenectady said last week that the bill was dangerous because it would give people a "false sense of well-being." The Republican assemblyman also accused Democratic lawmakers of "using innocent children killed by a madman for your own political agenda. You are actually making people less safe."
The New York gun control laws now provide that any semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pistols with a "military rifle" feature -- such as a flash suppressor, bayonet mount or telescoping stock -- are immediately banned. The laws also restrict the legal limit for ammunition magazines from ten to seven bullets.
Additionally, the new laws have restrictive provisions designed to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. In New York, those with certain psychiatric histories who desire to purchase a firearm must clear mandatory, multiple psychiatric outpatient reviews.
Finally, the legislation includes the so-called "Webster provision," requiring a mandatory life-without-parole sentence for anyone judged to have killed a first responder. This provision references the Christmas Eve shooting in a Rochester, N.Y. where two firefighters were shot and killed.