Griffo And Buttenschon Introducing Legislation to Address Gun Violence in New York

Following a shooting that occurred this past weekend near Thomas R. Proctor High School in Utica, New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-C-Rome, and state Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-C-Marcy, announced today that they will be introducing legislation that will provide for significant consequences for the perpetrators of violent crimes and hold illegal gun owners responsible for their actions in New York. 

Sen. Griffo and Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s legislation will: 

  • Revise the Raise the Age law, including allowing for the unsealing of certain criminal records so that law enforcement and school districts have access to important information. 
  • Allow state police to release mugshots of 16 and 17-year-olds who commit violent gun crimes. 
  • Charge anyone, regardless of age, who commits a violent crime with a deadly weapon within 3,000 feet of a school with a felony. 
  • Remove a requirement under Raise the Age that requires an adolescent to physically display a firearm for the individual to be illegally possessing a firearm. 
  • Modify the crime of criminal solicitation to hold adults accountable who intentionally provide a minor with a loaded firearm in order to avoid and protect the actual actor from prosecution.
  • Allow judges to use mental health evaluations when looking at pre-trial detention along with providing appropriate services in court at the time of arraignment. 
  • Allow judges to issue a secure order if a defendant lacks two or more identifiable ties (including residence, employment, educational enrollment, or immediate family) to a community, state or county. 
  • Authorize a judge to remove an adolescent from family court and try them as an adult if the adolescent illegally possesses a loaded firearm. 
  • Clearly defines extraordinary circumstances and significant physical injury, in order to ensure that adolescents who commit heinous acts are being held to a standard that matches the multitude of the crime they committed. 

“I am outraged by the recent shooting that seriously injured a security guard at a football game at Proctor High School,” said Sen. Griffo, who also expressed his appreciation for the first responders and others who assisted at the scene. “Enough is enough. We need changes that will enhance public safety, make our schools more secure and protect New Yorkers. This legislation will ensure that there are significant consequences for those who choose to undertake such heinous, senseless and horrific acts of violence.” 

“What began as an afternoon of high school football, ended in a horrific shooting of a brave high school security officer that was trying to protect those leaving the game at Proctor High School on Saturday,” Assemblywoman Buttenschon said. “I am outraged by the use of illegal guns and in this case on school property. I proposed legislation that will hold those that possess an illegal firearm accountable. This will be accomplished with tougher legislation, resources for our first responders, and further resources for mental health. In addition, future legislation to increase consequences for those that commit these horrific acts on or around school property and public parks. I want to thank all the first responders and staff at the Utica School District that assisted and wish the injured officer and his family all the best during this difficult time.” 

Beyond the harsher consequences that they are proposing, Sen. Griffo and Assemblywoman Buttenschon have advocated for more funding for law enforcement agencies and mental health services, as well as for additional school resource officers and the hardening of school facilities.

“I recognize that what happened near Proctor High School could happen anywhere, which is why I continue to push for proactive, sensible and comprehensive solutions that will reduce crime and gun violence in our communities,” Sen. Griffo said. “We must continue to address the problem of illegal guns, issues with mental illness and problems with the mental health system and the culture of violence that permeates our society.”