Thursday, February 21, 2013

Register Gun Offenders-BP says

BRONX, NEW YORK, February 21- In his annual “State of the Borough” address, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called on the New York State Legislature to create a new “gun crime registry,” with reporting requirements similar to New York State’s sex offender registry.

“We must also ensure that those who engage in gun violence are not allowed to escape the spotlight,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Law-abiding citizens ought to know who among us is responsible for gun violence, and this initiative will do just that.”

Diaz’s proposed registry would be available online, and would require perpetrators convicted of crimes involving a gun to keep updated records with the police regarding their living and employment arrangements. Gun crime offenders, under the proposal, would be required to remain on the registry for at least ten years, and could be removed from the registry for good behavior following that initial time period.

Among other requirements, those convicted of gun crimes would have to:

  • Report annually where they live by signing and returning an annual verification form within ten (10) days after receiving it.
  • Notify law enforcement officials in writing of a new address no later than 10 days after moving.
  • Report in person to a local police agency to have a current photograph taken every three years.
  • Personally verify their addresses every 90 days with law enforcement for a period of three consecutive years after the conviction. After three years without any further arrests, the individual will eligible for a modified reporting schedule. Law enforcement may at that time photograph an offender if that offender’s appearance has changed.

Under Borough President Diaz’s proposal, failure to perform any of the registration obligations would be considered a felony level crime. A first conviction would be punishable as a Class E felony; a second or subsequent conviction is punishable as a Class D felony.

Individuals unable to secure employment would be assigned a case worker to identify career counseling services, training opportunities and other available social services.

Borough President Diaz stated that, in the coming weeks and months, he would engage in conversations with members of the New York State Legislature to begin the process of crafting legislation and building support for this unique initiative.

“A safer New York State, and a safer nation, demands that we shine a light on those individuals who would commit gun crimes in our neighborhoods. An easily-accessible gun crime registry will serve as an excellent tool not only to keep neighborhoods informed about crime, but to serve as a deterrent from such acts. I look forward to working with the New York State Legislature to pass this important piece of legislation,” said Borough President Diaz.

During his annual “State of the Borough” address, Borough President Diaz also praised the New York State Legislature for passing the NY SAFE Act in January. He also called for new laws requiring ammunition micro stamping, limiting the number of guns and amount of ammunition an individual can purchase at any given time, and requiring a drug test to get a gun license.

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