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Gun Control Bill Fails in NY Senate, Despite Backing From Mayors and Police
By Ryan Morden
Oswego, NY – Gun control supporters in the state Senate failed to pass a new "microstamping" proposal that would apply to semiautomatic guns manufactured or sold in New York State.
This comes despite a lobbying effort from several Central New York mayors and police chiefs who rallied in Albany Tuesday in support of the measure.
According to the bill, all semiautomatic handguns would have to be able to stamp the gun's serial number on the casing of each bullet that's fired.
Law enforcement officials say bullet casings are often the only evidence left at the scene of a shooting. If the casing can be traced back to the gun's registered owner, they believe more crimes could be solved.
Democrats in the state Senate pulled the measure late Tuesday afternoon when it became clear there weren't enough votes to approve the bill.
"All of our cities are being plagued by violence. We think this is one tool that will help police officers solve crime," said Stephanie Miner, mayor of Syracuse.
The National Rifle Association opposes the measure, calling the bill an indirect ban on semi automatic guns in New York State.
"Manufacturers simply may not choose to build or sell firearms in the state," said Vickie Cieplak, media liaison with the NRA.
Cieplak calls the technology ineffective, and says it's just another step to make firearm ownership more difficult.
For Mayor Miner, the bottom line is making the streets safer.
"This is one tool that will help public safety. If I have to go up against the gun lobby every day, then I'll go up against the gun lobby every day," said Miner.
She wouldn't be alone; more 100 mayors from across New York state, including Utica mayor David R. Roefaro and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg support what lawmakers call the "Crime Gun Identification Act of 2010."
The bill passed the state Assembly.
(Michael Benjamin contributed to this report)