You won’t be able to pull a lucky AK-47 winner out of a fish bowl at your local fishing club, if a proposed new state law passes.
A prospective bill would outlaw making guns the prize for raffles commonly held by schools, community groups and rod-and-reel clubs in the latest move to tighten restrictions on firearms in New York.
“You shouldn’t be able to simply walk into a catering venue and walk out owning a firearm," said state Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Long Island). “This law will protect public safety and advance New York’s commitment to common sense gun reform.”
Current law only bars alcoholic beverages from being offered as prizes for so-called games of chance like raffles or bingo games.
“You can’t raffle off a bottle of wine, so why can you raffle off a weapon of war?” asked Gaughran.
A similar gun raffle ban was introduced in the Assembly last year but was never passed. Senate aides say the Senate law will be introduced in coming weeks.
Democrats now control both houses in Albany along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the state house that has opened the door to a raft of new progressive legislation that would likely have been blocked by the GOP Senate in previous years.
Progressives nationwide are looking to find new ways of cracking down on guns after the mass killings last month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Most New Yorkers may think of gun raffles as being a rural upstate phenomenon but they are actually somewhat common in suburban Long Island, a Senate aide said.
Last year, a local Friends of the National Rifle Association gathering set for the Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn was scrapped after neighborhood parents protested. That shindig was going to include a raffle with several pistols and long guns as prizes.
The NRA did not immediately respond Saturday to requests for comment on the proposed gun raffle ban.