New York state lawmakers propose law to punish gun owners who don’t lock up weapons

This article originally appeared in The Daily News on June 13th, 2014.

BY  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Friday, June 13, 2014, 4:16 PM

The teenager who went on a deadly rampage at an Oregon high school used a gun he took from his father’s arsenal.

Some Bronx legislators are trying to ensure the same things doesn’t happen here.

On Friday they introduced “Nicholas’ Law,” which would require gun owners to do what they should already be doing — locking their weapons and storing them away.

“We must continue to push for comprehensive laws that will make our streets safer and protect our children from gun violence,” said Bronx state Sen. Jeffrey Klein, who co-authored that bill with a fellow Democrat, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda.

Standing near the politicians, Alexandra Bodden said her teenage brother, Michael Graham, used their father’s unlocked gun to kill himself last year.

“It’s important because if that gun had been locked up away from the hands of my 13-year-old brother, he would still be here,” said Bodden, 30, of The Bronx.

Luisito Oyola Jr., 4, last summer was shot in the stomach and arm at Vidalia Park. A new law named after him would create harsher penalties for people who fire guns around kids.
Luisito Oyola Jr., 4, last summer was shot in the stomach and arm at Vidalia Park. A new law named after him would create harsher penalties for people who fire guns around kids.

Nicholas’ Law is named after Nicholas Naumkin, a 12-year-old Saratoga Springs boy who was fatally shot by a pal playing with his dad’s unlocked gun.

Under Nicholas’ Law, irresponsible gun owners would face penalties ranging from getting their permits revoked to a prison sentence of one to four years.

Klein and Sepulveda also pushed for Assembly passage of “Luisito’s Law,” which would toughen the sentences for gunmen caught firing their weapons around kids. And they did so in Vidalia Park, where last summer 4-year-old Luisito Oyola Jr. was shot in the stomach and arm.

Little Luisito, dressed in a green hoodie, was there with his grandmother, Lorine Padilla, because his mom is still too upset to set foot in the park.

“It means it will help to curtail the mentality of the gun toting thugs that are permeating our neighborhood,” Padilla, 58, said of the proposed law.

New York state Sen. Jeff Klein is gunning for new weapons safety laws.TIM ROSKE/APNew York state Sen. Jeff Klein is gunning for new weapons safety laws.

The state Senate has already passed the bill, which would make it a felony to shoot a gun within 500 feet of a school, park or playground – and make it a felony to shoot a child under 10 years old.

The state Assembly has until Thursday to vote on it.

Out in Troutdale, Ore., students returned to Reynolds High School to pick up the backpacks and books they abandoned Tuesday after 15-year-old Jared Padgett started shooting with his dad’s AR-15 assualt rifle, killing 14-year-old Emilio Hoffman.

Police still have not revealed why Padgett, who killed himself while cops were closing in, tried to stage a massacre.

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Author: sabrinacaserta

Sabrina Caserta, born and bred in Bronx, New York, is a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News and Street Sense- a homeless-run street paper located in the District. As a member of Roger Williams University’s class of 2016, Sabrina studied Journalism and Political Science. This fueled her passion for social justice reporting, including issues of homelessness, institutionalized racism, poverty, education and the environment. She also served as the Project Director of the nation-brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, and as a Resident Assistant for three years. As an avid reader, health enthusiast and travel addict, Sabrina enjoys yoga, cooking and writing in her spare time. She aspires to one day be an investigative journalist and travel the world. Twitter: @sabrinacaserta Email: sabcaserta AT gmail DOT com

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