In his budget proposal speech yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed eliminating the state’s decade-old Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS) as part of a budget which includes substantial spending cuts, pension reform, Medicaid mandate relief and a pay-for-performance program for public school teachers.
CoBIS, which electronically scans spent shell casings from new handguns sold in the state, has cost NY taxpayers an estimated $43 million. More than 350,000 shell casings have been catalogued by CoBIS, but not a single crime has been solved by the system since it began operations on January 1, 2001.
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) called on Governor Cuomo last month to include the elimination of CoBIS in his proposed budget.
The move to eliminate CoBIS comes on the heels of a proposal by state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to explore changes to the state gun laws which may lead to concealed carry reciprocity; as well as several successful lawsuits related to state gun laws and two current lawsuits by Second Amendment Foundation attorney Alan Gura, who won the Heller and McDonald decisions before the U.S. Supreme Court. One suit challenges the cost of obtaining a pistol permit in New York City while the other, in Westchester County, seeks to eliminate the “may-issue” language of the state’s licensing law.