2010-02-12 / Top Stories

Law Forbids Carrying Gun While Drunk

Mayor Bloomberg Mayor Bloomberg Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein have announced the introduction of legislation that would make it illegal to carry a gun while intoxicated in New York State.

The introduction of the measure, promised during the Mayor’s 2009 reelection campaign, uses the same legal standard as driving while intoxicated to prohibit carrying a gun while drunk.

At the announcement, held at the Morris Park Community Association, the Mayor and Senator Klein were joined by Assemblymember Jose Peralta, the Assembly sponsor of the legislation;

John Feinblatt, the Mayor’s criminal justice coordinator; Council Public Safety Chair Peter Vallone Jr.; and Al D’Angelo, the President of the Morris Park Community Association. “If you are too intoxicated to drive a car, you should not be carrying a gun,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The law would apply the same standards and tests that are now used to prevent and punish driving while intoxicated. And that’s only right. I’m hopeful that our legislators and Governor Paterson will make New York the 21st state to enact such a life-saving, common-sense law.”

“Guns and alcohol are a deadly mix,” said Klein. “The time is now for us to get serious about penalties for those who chose to carry a gun while intoxicated.”

“We believe in the right of law abiding New Yorkers to own guns. However, with rights come responsibilities,” said John Feinblatt, the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Coordinator. “Drinking while carrying a gun puts the entire community at risk, and it can have deadly consequences.

This legislation sends a clear message: if you’re going to drink, leave your gun at home.”

Under the bill, carrying a gun while under the influence of alcohol would be a class-A misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Under State law, a person is intoxicated if their blood alcohol content is over .08 percent.

Also, under the law, common-sense factors would also be considered evidence of impairment, such as staggering, slurred speech, and smell of alcohol.

The bill will not apply to people who have guns within their own home. Convictions under this law would be grounds for revocation of a handgun license or a rifle/shotgun permit.

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