Nicholas’s Law now heads to the Republican-controlled state Senate where it is facing a tough battle for passage on to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Senate Codes Committee already killed a similar proposal there by a 9-7 vote in April.
A proposal to require gun locks on firearms not in use across the Empire State made it through the state Assembly in a 77-58 vote Tuesday.
The bill, termed “Nicholas’s Law,” after a 12-year-old who was killed in an accidental shooting by a middle school classmate, was introduced in January and now heads to the Senate after a largely party line vote by Assembly Democrats.
“I applaud the State Assembly’s vote today passing Nicholas’s Law, which will prevent future tragedies such as the one that devastated our family,” said Oksana Naumkin, Nicholas’s mother. “With today’s vote, we are a step closer to enacting a statewide law that will mean other families will not have to endure our ongoing pain. Now it is the Senate’s responsibility to act. We are not going away. We will continue to fight for Nicholas’s Law until it is the law of the State of New York.”
The bill, A.53, aims to criminalize gun owners who fail to store their firearms in accordance with the measure’s guidelines. Those guidelines include locking any shotgun, rifle, antique firearm or handgun in one’s possession either in a gun safe or with a lock.
In the introduction to the legislation, the bill’s author noted that in 2011 in New York, 60 children under the age of 18 were hospitalized with an accidental nonfatal gun injury.