New York Passes Strict Gun Control Legislation Reform
Yesterday, the state of New York passed the first piece of gun control legislation since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly signed the bill into law.
The New York legislation is considered one of the strictest gun control measures in the country. The new legislation expands the definition of what is considered an assault weapon, mandates a police registry of assault weapons and a state registry of all private gun sales, bans the internet sale of assault weapons, and restricts magazines to seven bullets. In addition, under the new law a therapist who believes that a patient has made a legitimate threat to use a gun for illegal reasons must report the threat to a mental health director who will then report threats to the state.
New York state Senator Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) told reporters on Monday "This is not about taking anyone's rights away. It's about a safe society ... we are setting the mark for the rest of the county to do what's right." Governor Cuomo said right before signing the legislation into law "You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and common sense."
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .