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Keep state’s gun laws strong

August 1, 2019 07:52 pm

When a gunman in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more at a country music concert in 2017, the terrible mass shooting brought attention to the bump stocks the gunman used to convert his rifles into automatic weapons.

He was able to fire more than 1,000 rounds in 11 minutes. Think about that. From that point on, there was widespread agreement by congressional leaders about the need to ban these devices.

Almost two years later, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday signed legislation banning bump stocks. The new law prohibits the possession, manufacture, transport and sale of bump stocks and similar rifle-enhancing accessories.

“By signing (this measure) into law we are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws — banning devices whose sole purpose is to create the most bloodshed in the shortest time frame,” Cuomo said Tuesday.

Let’s hope he’s right. But it is not yet clear if the ban will be permanent and not subject to future regulation changes. The ban should also be shielded against the civil lawsuits that are almost sure to be brought by gun owners, bump-stock owners and manufacturers.

But it is encouraging to see New York acting on a gun-control issue. State action, despite the resistance of mostly Republican representatives in Albany, highlights the failure to stand up to the gun lobby while mass shootings occur all over the country. It’s something voters should keep in mind when they next go to the polls.