Gov. Cuomo pushes for tighter gun-access laws in New York

Gov. Cuomo pushes for tighter gun-access laws in New York

New York City : NY : USA | Jan 09, 2013 at 4:28 AM PST
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New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants his state to become the first one to introduce a major gun-control law that would broaden the number of weapons under law while making it harder for gun makers to change their products to get around the law.

New York is already one of the few states that have placed major restrictions on weapon possession. Still, in the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, Cuomo says that the existing law has several loopholes that need to be filled out in order to prevent any more similar tragedies from taking place.

The governor is eager to propose a new set of laws regarding stricter gun control in his annual state address on Wednesday. According to people close to his agenda, Cuomo will mainly be pushing for five new items in the law.

Among them would be broadening the definition of what kind of guns fall under the category of assault weapon ban, limiting the size of ammunition magazines, gun owners to periodically renew their license, a control on ways gun makers change products to get around the law and a law that would require single sales of large quantities of ammunition to be flagged for law enforcement.

While the entire plan is yet to arrive, Cuomo has already incited anxiety among gun owners and gun makers after his radio interview in which he said that "confiscation could be an option" for assault weapons owned by New Yorkers. Since the interview, Cuomo has not repeated the idea and his aides have acknowledged that such a thing would be too impractical to carry out.

However, gun rights groups have criticized this idea and have even promoted a petition to the White House that says, “We do not live in Nazi Germany,” and asked the Obama administration to block any effort at confiscation by Cuomo.

Cuomo is also seeking criminal penalties for individuals committing crimes with illegal weapons and may also introduce a law that would address the role of mental health in gun crimes and a rigorous background check requirements for gun owners.

The talks on all these issues are still fluid and the final address on Wednesday may or may not have some or all of these laws.

New York State's Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King reiterated NRA chief’s opinion that the right way to address the violence is not more gun control laws but to control mentally ill people and place more security guards in schools.

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Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
Wendy Zachary is based in Texas, Texas, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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