Carrying gun drunk to be illegal in NY

10:28, February 05, 2010      

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A newly introduced bill would make it illegal to carry a gun while drunk, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein announced on Thursday.

"If you are too intoxicated to drive a car, you should not be carrying a gun," said Bloomberg in a statement.

The introduction of the measure, promised during Bloomberg's 2009 reelection campaign, would rely on the same blood alcohol level -- 0.08 percent -- used to determine if someone is driving drunk.

But the proposed legislation has sparked protest from gun activists.

Thomas King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, told Xinhua that while he does not condone drinking and carrying a firearm, the bill is redundant.

King, who noted that he hadn't read the legislation yet, said Bloomberg's office should focus its efforts on enforcing existing laws rather than creating one more sensational law.

"This seems more about making headlines," he said.

The bill will make New York the 21st state in the United States to outlaw carrying a gun while intoxicated but unlike most of those states, New York's law will not apply to hunting grounds or firing ranges.

A conviction will entail a class-A misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a 10,000 U.S. dollar fine.

"Drinking while carrying a gun puts the entire community at risk, and it can have deadly consequences," said John Feinblatt, the mayor's Criminal Justice Coordinator. "This legislation sends a clear message: if you're going to drink, leave your gun at home. "

Source: Xinhua
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