New York State appears to be on the verge of passing one of the toughest gun laws in the nation. But New York City already has more restrictive laws in place than what's being proposed in Albany.
Speaking with gun shop owners and dealers in the city, you get the sense that they're under-whelmed by the legislation in Albany. That's not to say they're happy about the proposed restrictions on assault weapons, the closing of gun show loopholes or reduced magazine capacity.
It’s just that they've already been living with some of the most restrictive guns laws in the nation.
"We go through a hell of a lot to get a permit: background checks, one gun every 90 days, they gotta be kept in safes,” said James Bartiromo of Rosebank Sports in Staten Island. “We got so many laws down here you could choke a horse."
Even some of the new state proposals fail to meet what's already on the books in the city. The state laws would limit a rifle or shotgun magazine to seven rounds. In the city, it's capped at five. As the state looks to further restrict automatic weapons sales, gun dealers in the city say that they haven't been able to sell them here for 20 years.
“Laws actually do matter,” said John Feinblatt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's criminal justice coordinator. “And the fact that we have had strict gun laws are the reason, in part, why this year we had only 418 murders, which is the lowest in recorded history."
Meanwhile, many gun enthusiasts in New York City say they don't buy the argument that these kinds of gun laws will protect against senseless shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School.