Some gun control measures can be reasonably debated by pro and anti-gun proponents.
New York State Senate Bill S3444 isn’t one of them.
In a thinly veiled attempt to ban virtually every kind of handgun within New York State, lawmakers have proposed legislation that would prohibit gun companies from selling a firearm if it can be operated by an “average five year old child.”
Democratic Senator José M. Serrano introduced S3444 at a dead-serious press conference earlier this month. “One would think that this [legislation] should be common sense, that there should be no controversy over this,” Serrano said.
“There is no reason that a young child five years old should be able to have access to a weapon that he or she could fire,” he continued. “So we need to make sure that all weapons sold in the state of New York are not fireable by children this young.”
The bill doesn’t specify how strong its imaginary five-year-old might be, but it does provide several helpful requirements for gun companies who might be wondering how to manufacture a handgun that cannot be fired by a child.
First, gun companies must only sell handguns with triggers that can be adjusted to at least ten-pounds. Second, gun companies must “alter the firing mechanism so that an average fire year old child’s hands are too small to operate the pistol or revolver.” Finally, the legislation mandates that all handguns must be manufactured to “require a series of multiple motions in order to fire the pistol or revolver.”
Based on these suggestions, it isn’t clear that the bill’s authors have ever interacted with a handgun or a five-year-old child. A firearm manufacturer might follow all of these requirements and still be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor after any moderately intelligent child fired their full-sized handgun featuring a safety and ten-pound trigger pull.
But gun control proponents needn’t be afraid. The legislation goes on to stipulate that the Superintendent of State Police will work with the firearms manufacturers that “the Superintendent deems appropriate” to develop the full gamut of features that will prohibit five-year-olds from firing handguns.
Since the three aforementioned “safety mechanisms” wouldn’t actually stop a child from pulling a trigger, more “common sense” features will need to be developed.
And if no manufacture can develop a totally child-proof handgun? In that case, presumably, no handguns could be sold, delivered, or transferred within the state of New York.
The legislation is currently being considered by the Senate Codes Committee, which includes Serrano, six additional Democrats, and nine Republicans.