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State Says More Gun Background Checks Are Being Done

3:22 PM, Apr 7, 2013   |    comments
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ROCHESTER, NY - Saturday in Rochester marked one of the biggest gun shows in the region.

State attorney general, Eric Schneiderman has created a system of encouraging gun show operators to tag guns once they are bought at private sales. According to the state's chief prosecutor, this measure will help crack down on illegal gun purchases and keep people safe through background checks.

Tagging guns when they are bought isn't mandatory, according to the SAFE Act, however officials say more and more gun show operators are doing this.

The tags tell the state who owned the gun and what their address is and also info about the gun itself, including model, make, serial number and caliber. And then there's a part that the buyer fills out giving their name and a number - proving they've had a background check done.

"If you're leaving with a gun that you didn't come in with that you get a check, so it's a good system, it's a common sense system and I look forward to making sure that all the gun shows in New York state ensure background checks," Schneiderman said.

In the past, guns were only tagged on their way into shows and this will continue to be done.

Schneiderman says 80 percent of gun shows in the state do background checks and that eventually all shows will be doing them.

"We want common sense measures to make sure that there are background checks, so that people who are felons or terrorists or have serious mental health problems are not able to get guns," he said.

In our area, the state says the tagging agreements have been made with gun show operators in Batavia, Cheektowaga, Hamburg, Salamanca and Springville.

Another step that the state encourages gun shows take is giving police a head's up when they're going to hold a gun show.

The state also believes that these steps won't infringe on Second Amendment rights.

We heard from people on both sides of the background check issue - some who say they will keep people safe - others who think they're invasive and target gun owners who follow the law.

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