Beyond ‘Assault Weapons’: Kathy Hochul Targets ‘Semiautomatic Rifles’

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a press conference while construction continues at the east side access project in Grand Central Terminal, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) joined with state assembly leaders to announce ten new gun control bills, including a new minimum age and licensing requirement for the purchase of a “semiautomatic rifle.”

On May 31, 2022, Hochul tweeted, “New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country — but there’s more work to do to keep New Yorkers safe. We are going to strengthen gun laws, give law enforcement tools to prevent crime, & stop the spread of dangerous weapons.”

She posted a summary of the new gun control bills to her website:

The bills would: require information sharing between state, local and federal agencies when guns are used in crimes; make threatening mass harm a crime; require microstamping for new guns; increase accountability for social media platforms; eliminate grandfathering of large capacity ammunition feeding devices; prohibit the purchase of body armor for anyone who is not engaged in an eligible profession; strengthen the Red Flag law by expanding the list of people who can file for Extreme Risk Protection Orders, and other measures; require that an individual obtain a license, with a minimum age of 21, to purchase a semiautomatic rifle; and close the “any other weapon” loophole.

Hochul used a tweet to specifically address the push to raise the age and require a license for a semiautomatic rifle purchase. The governor said, “The gunmen in Buffalo and Uvalde both legally purchased the rifles they used to commit mass murders at the age of 18. So we’re raising the age requirement to 21 to obtain a license to purchase a semiautomatic rifle.”

Notice, the language is not about “assault weapons” but semiautomatic rifles in general.

She also tweeted about the proposed ban on body armor purchases:

Law enforcement and military service members need body armor vests to do their job safely. Most civilians don’t. Our bill makes purchasing body armor vests unlawful for anyone not engaged in an eligible profession. All sales of vests will also be required to be done in person.

In the wake of the May 14, 2022, Buffalo grocery store attack Breitbart News noted that Hochul wanted to expand her state’s “assault weapons” ban.

WSHU reported Hochul wanted to expand the ban to cover “AOWs” (any other weapons). Hochul contended that AOWs can be used as “assault weapons.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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