Assemblyman proposes warning labels for guns
State legislation inspired by a local law in Westchester County would require a warning label to be placed on guns purchased in New York state.
A.2882 was introduced recently in the state Assembly by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx. He proposes warnings be posted and provided by firearm dealers warning poeple of the dangers of gun ownership, including the increased risk of suicide, death during domestic disputes, and unintentional death to children, household members and others and of the availability of the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
If passed, business owners who don’t comply could face up to 15 days in jail or a fine of up to $1,000 a day. Local police would be authorized to issue appearance tickets for court.
“New York state has been at the forefront of addressing issues related to gun use,” Dinowitz wrote in his legislative justification. “This bill models legislation enacted in the County of Westchester and introduced and passed by the Albany County legislature intended to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the general public by specifically informing buyers and potential buyers of weapons or firearms of the dangers of owning a weapon or firearm.
According to a CBS News report, placing warning labels on firearms is an idea promoted by the Gun Shop Project — a nationwide partnership of gun owner groups and suicide prevention advocates. Westchester County unanimously passed legislation requiring the warnings in May 2022. Warnings are required to be posted where weapons or firearms are displayed or delivered to the purchaser at the entrance to the site and in at least one additional area where sales occur conspicuously stating the warning in no smaller than 24-point type and on paper at least 8 and 1/2 inches by 11 inches in bold print the following warning.
Albany County followed suit by passing its own legislation requiring warnings on guns or in gun shops in August, according to television station WNYT.
“Like our county gun storage law, this is a basic, sensible, safety measure,” said Legislator Colin Smith, D-Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown, who serves as chair of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Legislation Committee. “It’s a gentle reminder to gun buyers that there are risks in having a weapon in the home, and that those risks can reach beyond just the gun owner, so think about everyone in the household.”