Sunday, May 5, 2013

NY - New York Needs a Gun Offender Registry

Original Article

If the online sex offender hit-list is "constitutional," then we should have an online registry for all criminals, but simply owning a gun is not a reason to put someone on the registry.


By Ruben Diaz Jr.

The following op-ed is co-authored by City Council Member Peter F. Vallone of Queens, who serves as that body's chair of the Public Safety Committee

From Newtown, Conn., to Aurora, Colo. -- and all the way to the Bronx, Queens and the other boroughs of this great city -- gun violence is a plague on our communities.

During the past several months since the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, leaders from across the city, state and nation have been offering ideas to combat gun violence and restrict access to military-style assault weapons. The majority of these ideas have focused on changing the laws regarding legal gun ownership. But we must be willing to take a different step -- one that will target and help combat the threat of illegal guns used by violent criminals to terrorize our neighborhoods. We must keep the spotlight of the law on these offenders, even after they are released by the court system.

That is why we have joined together to support the creation of a statewide gun offender registry, which would be an expansion of the one created in New York City in 2006 by Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Vallone -- the first ever of its kind. This measure would provide police across New York with one of the resources the NYPD and Commissioner Ray Kelly have used to bring murders in the City to the lowest recorded number in history.

The statewide registry would include similar reporting requirements to New York State's existing sex offender registry. It would keep the names of people convicted of crimes involving guns on the registry for at least 10 years, and require offenders to check in regularly with local police. Failure to perform any of the registration obligations would be considered a felony level crime.
- Why not for life like ex-sex offenders, who by the way, have a lower re-offense rate!