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June 1, 2021

Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousin Speaker Carl Heastie


New York State Senate New York Assembly
Capitol Building, Room 330 Legislative Office Building, Room 932
Albany, New York 12247 Albany, New York 12248

Dear Leader Stewart Cousins and Speaker Heastie,

Once again, New York has the opportunity to save lives as a national leader on gun violence
prevention. We, as Mayors of the undersigned cities, urge you to take swift action to pass
S1048a/A6762a this session and open the door to accountability for bad actors in the gun industry.
Help us stop the flow of illegal guns onto our city streets.
We are on the front lines of the gun violence epidemic. Our neighborhoods suffer the loss, both in
human life and in steep financial impact. In New York, on average, over 3,400 people are shot and
killed or wounded every year. Of those gun deaths and injuries, 55 percent are the result of a gun
homicide or gun assault. Gun violence in the US reflects and intensifies this country’s long-standing
racial inequities. Black Americans represent the majority of gun homicide and nonfatal shooting
victims in the US, and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to
assaultive gun violence. Black people in New York are 15 times more likely to die by gun homicide
than white people. Gun violence costs New York $5.9 billion each year, of which $321 million is
paid by taxpayers.
Thanks to a federal law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”), the gun
industry is shielded from the lawsuits that are most often used in the United States to hold businesses
accountable for products or practices that harm people. PLCAA blocks legal responsibility for gun
manufacturers that have failed to prevent unintentional shootings by innovating and making guns
safer, and for irresponsible, reckless and negligent sales practices that contribute to the flood of
illegal firearms in our communities. But there is an exception to the PLCAA shield for gun dealers
and manufacturers whose misconduct violates state law.
This bill adds to New York’s public nuisance law, by making clear that gun companies that engage in
illegal or unreasonable conduct are creating a public nuisance in the state and can be sued for it and
also requires all gun companies who do business in New York to put in place reasonable safeguards
to prevent their guns from ending up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
Our cities need this tool, and in the face of federal inaction on the issue, it is up to you, our state
legislative leaders, to provide it. We need accountability for the wrongs that have been committed,
and we need to incentivize a change in behavior to stem the flow of illegal guns. Pass this bill, help
us save lives, and serve as a model for the rest of the country.
Sincerely,

Mayor Kathy Sheehan, City of Albany Mayor Svante Myrick, City of Ithaca
Mayor Steve Noble, City of Kingston Mayor Gary McCarthy, City of Schenectady

Mayor Thomas Roach, City of White Plains Mayor Patrick Madden, City of Troy

Mayor Dan Hall, City of Glens Falls Mayor Geoffrey Prime, Village of South Floral Park

Mayor Ken Wray, Village of Sleepy Hollow Mayor Bruce Tucker, Village of Piermont

Mayor Peter Scherer, Village of Pleasantville