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Kaplan reports: "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a sweeping package of gun-control measures on Tuesday, significantly expanding a ban on assault weapons and making New York the first state to change its laws in response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders at the signing of the state's new weapons law on Tuesday afternoon. (photo: AP)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders at the signing of the state's new weapons law on Tuesday afternoon. (photo: AP)


Sweeping Limits on Guns Become Law in New York

By Thomas Kaplan, The New York Times

16 January 13

 

ov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a sweeping package of gun-control measures on Tuesday, significantly expanding a ban on assault weapons and making New York the first state to change its laws in response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Mr. Cuomo signed the bill less than an hour after the State Assembly approved it by a 104-to-43 vote on the second full day of the 2013 legislative session. The State Senate, which had in the past resisted more restrictive gun laws, approved the measure 43 to 18 on Monday night.

"I am proud to be part of this government, not just because New York has the first bill, but because New York has the best bill," the governor, a Democrat, said at a news conference. "I'm proud to be a New Yorker because New York is doing something - because we are fighting back."

The expanded ban on assault weapons broadens the definition of what is considered an assault weapon and reduces the permissible size of gun magazines to 7 rounds, from 10. It also includes provisions to better keep firearms away from mentally ill people and to impose stiffer penalties on people who use guns in the commission of crimes.

Gun-rights advocates denounced the measure. The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association said New York gun owners "should be ashamed and afraid of our state," and the National Rifle Association said, "These gun-control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime."

"The Legislature caved to the political demands of a governor and helped fuel his personal political aspirations," the N.R.A. said.

But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City, a vocal advocate of gun control, hailed the legislation, saying it "protects the Second Amendment rights of people, and at the same time it makes all New Yorkers safer."

"We have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and this just strengthens them," Mr. Bloomberg said.

Elected officials in New York and around the nation have been debating how to respond to gun violence since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. As the New York Legislature was voting for the new gun-control measures, the state's comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, said that he would freeze investments by the state's pension fund in firearm manufacturers. The pension fund sold holdings in Smith & Wesson after the Newtown shooting; the fund continues to hold about $2 million worth of shares in Sturm, Ruger & Company.

Mr. Cuomo, saying that gun violence constituted an emergency requiring immediate action, waived a constitutionally required three-day waiting period between the introduction of legislation and a vote to allow speedy action on the gun-law package. But during the Assembly debate, which lasted nearly five hours, a number of Republicans criticized both the bill's content and the lack of public hearings or other public processes for considering the proposals.

"Why are we being bullied into voting on this bill without our proper, responsible due diligence?" asked Assemblyman Steve Katz, a Hudson Valley Republican. "Solely due to the governor's misguided, egotistic notion that this will advance his presidential aspirations."

Assembly Democrats, who have pushed for new gun-control laws for years, hailed the legislation as long overdue.

"It's taken far too many deaths to get us to this point," said Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti, a Democrat from Westchester County. "The Second Amendment does not guarantee the right to bear arms to kill innocent firefighters, teachers and children, and that's the message we have to send."

The expanded ban on assault weapons takes effect immediately; New Yorkers who already own guns that are banned under the new law can keep them, but will have to register them with the state within a year. Other provisions of the bill take effect at later dates.


 

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-4 # Glen 2013-01-16 11:13
New York STATE didn't pass this into law - it was the governor. Ever notice how mayors and governors and presidents make decisions for citizens and don't care what the desires of the citizens are?
 
 
+7 # Glen 2013-01-16 15:25
Those minus points indicate a serious defect of perception in citizens. New York State is not simply New York City, just as the rest of the U.S. is not composed of one or two groups in each state.

Were any of us consulted when the Patriot Act was put in place? No. How about Homeland Security. No? Correct. How about all the actions of the PNAC and the attacks on numerous countries? How about the stupid laws enacted prohibiting folks from smoking on their own back decks. There are hundreds of policies and laws that were put in place without citizen opinion, much less consent.
 
 
0 # keepinitreal 2013-01-16 13:13
The Mob has taken over in New York! Please search Feds borrowing from federal employees 401k. Will it ever be payed back? What do you think? Suckers, give them your protection and let them rape you! Sit Down and Shut Up!
 
 
+1 # Eliza53 2013-01-16 13:33
That's what I call leadership! Congratulatons New York!
 
 
+1 # Michael_K 2013-01-16 13:42
This is hilarious! Now Mini-Cuomo and Homonulus-Bloom berg will be "heroes of gun control" when this will do absolutely nothing, zilch, nada to curb gun-related crime in New York State, much less New York City.

There's enough hypocrisy there and on RSN comment columns to choke a herd of elephants!
 
 
-2 # Skyelav 2013-01-16 16:33
I'm glad I don't live here. New York used to be a beacon of good sense but it is becoming a joke. Cuomo, running for president of 2016, and Bloomberg, whose anti gun policies spoiled an FBI sting operation in 2003 (I believe)are grandstanding and using emotions to get votes or cudos or just an ego boost. If Cuomo knew what really caused gun violence, and what needed to be done he would run for the woods. Who ewants to take on big pharm or the liquor industry? Who wants to reorganize the pathetic mental health sustem? No, bandaids at the expens3e of every single New Yorker.
 

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