Gun Offender Registry Acts (GORAs) by Jerry Walden

The organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, offers useful information about local initiatives to enact Gun Offender Registry Acts. An extract from their website follows.

THE PROBLEM OF GUN OFFENDER RECIDIVISM
Studies indicate people who carry illegal guns pose a very high risk of recidivism. Recent Baltimore statistics show that 42% of defendants charged with felony gun crimes have prior gun arrests. In New York City, when compared to other felons, those convicted of felony gun possession were more likely to be re-arrested, and their re-arrests were more likely to involve violence (e.g., murder, sex offenses, robbery, or assault), 42% compared to 25%, plus they were four times more likely to be arrested for homicide.

RESPONSES FROM BALTIMORE AND NEW YORK CITY
Requirements: Gun Offender Registry Acts (GORAs), like those passed in Baltimore in 2007 and in New York City in 2006, require defendants convicted of specified gun crimes to: register their addresses with the police; Verify them in person every 6 months; and promptly notify the police if they change addresses for a period of time following their conviction or period of incarceration.
Covered gun crimes: Each city’s ordinance lists the specific crimes that trigger reporting because they are tied to high recidivism rates in data about that city.
Duration: A person remains on the Gun Offender Registry for a period of years – three in Baltimore, four in New York City – from the date of conviction or release from imprisonment, whichever is later.
• Penalties: In both cities, failure to abide by these conditions is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine up to $1000 or both.
• Analogue: GORAs were built upon Megan’s Laws, which have proven to be effective enforcement tools against sex offenders around the country.

The New York City law also requires individuals convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree to register their current addresses and personally report to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) every six months.

Learn more at: Gun Offender Registration

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