Niagara Gazette — ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for tougher state bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines of ammunition as part of a progressive agenda in a sometimes fiery State of the State speech Wednesday.
“No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer,” Cuomo said. “End the madness now!
“The tragic events of just the last few weeks in Newtown, Conn., and West Webster, N.Y., have indelibly taught us guns can cut down small children, firefighters and policemen in a moment,” Cuomo said.
The state already has among the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, and the governor noted that New York passed the nation’s first handgun permit law, in 1911.
A deal is expected soon that could make New York one of the first states to pass gun control laws following the Dec. 14 shooting, in which 20 first-graders and six educators were gunned down with a powerful weapon at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The shooter also killed his mother and himself.
New York’s effort was hastened further by the Christmas Eve killings of two firefighters in Monroe County by a man who set his neighborhood on fire, lay in wait with a high-powered rifle for responders, shot them and killed himself. Webster residents related to the firefighters were honored guests at the State of State address.
“Let’s lead the way once again in saving lives,” Cuomo said in an often rousing speech that some observers said better positioned the Democrat for a 2016 run for president.
Cuomo would also require follow-ups for owners of handgun licenses to make sure they are still qualified to possess a gun based on criminal and other records. He would increase sentences for gun crimes including for using guns on school property and for gang activities.