March 14, 2013 / 9:13 PM / 7 years ago

New York tightens gun show background checks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York’s attorney general reached an agreement with 23 gun show operators on Thursday to strictly carry out gun show background checks, which were required by law but loosely enforced.

With this agreement, the so-called model procedures will be used at 80 percent of the gun shows in the state, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said in a statement, and officials hoped to extend the agreement to all of the state’s gun shows by the end of the year.

The announcement marked at least the second major gun control agreement in New York since a December 14 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school killed 20 children and six adults, reviving a national debate about gun laws.

On January 15, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law that expanded the state’s ban on assault weapons, put limits on ammunition capacity and enacted new measures to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

The attorney general’s initiative was sparked by an undercover investigation in 2011 that resulted in criminal charges against 10 gun sellers who violated the state’s background check requirement.

Schneiderman’s office began working with gun show operators to promote uniform practices across the state, including a rule that all guns brought into a gun show by private sellers must be tagged, allowing the operator to determine if guns were sold and whether a proper background check was performed.

“These procedures are unique to New York state and represent the first time law enforcement and gun show operators are working together to eliminate illegal gun sales,” Schneiderman said in the statement.

The gun show operators agreed to post conspicuous signs and give written notice to dealers that state law requires an instant background check take place for anyone acquiring a gun.

The pact also limits the number of access doors at shows to control the flow of weapons in and out of the venue, and it requires measures to prevent gun sales outside shows, such as in the parking lot.

Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Stacey Joyce

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