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Giffords to tour gun show under new N.Y. law

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, advocate expanded background checks.

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, advocate expanded background checks.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, is set to tour a New York gun show, the first such visit since she was shot.

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, a former combat pilot and astronaut, are scheduled to be with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair today to highlight a voluntary agreement to monitor gun show sales and stricter state gun control law.

A state law enacted earlier this year with a push by Gov. Andrew Cuomo expanded a ban on military-style weapons, requires mental health professionals to report threats, limits magazines to seven bullets, taxes bullets and creates a registry to keep guns out of the wrong hands. It was approved a month after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.

Separately, Schneiderman worked closely with all 35 gun show operators in New York to adopt stringent new rules to track sales.

Kelly said the system could be a national model.

"At the federal level we still have no requirement for background checks at gun shows, but states like New York are fixing the loophole," he said. "The state's model helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them — like criminals and the dangerously mentally ill — without infringing on our Second Amendment rights."

Under the agreements worked out by Schneiderman, all firearms are tagged at the entrances to gun shows. Operators must provide computer stations for sellers to do national background checks. Guns are checked as they are taken away through a limited number of exits to make sure background checks were performed. No buyers can leave a show without documentation of a proper sale.

Operators must also notify local police so they can patrol near shows watching for illegal sales. Schneiderman also has a staff member at each gun show to work with operators to monitor compliance with the new gun control law.

Giffords to tour gun show under new N.Y. law 10/12/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 12, 2013 8:22pm]
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