New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today at about 4:45 PM signed into law the first gun control bill since the Sandy Hook shooting, that took the lives of 20 children and six adults. Governor Cuomo, a Democrat whom some say is eyeing the White House, quickly after the Newtown, Connecticut massacre, promised to help pass and sign what he hoped would be the nation’s toughest gun control measure. The bill passed its final hurdle today, and the Governor signed it into law almost immediately.
Cuomo stated at a press conference (image, top) minutes ago that he moved quickly and signed the bill into law with little public debate because the bill bans the sale of semi-automatic weapons and he wanted to ensure there was not a rush of assault weapon sales prior to the bill becoming law.
“We’ve been working on this bill for weeks and weeks, and there were hundreds of conversations, ” the Governor said.
What resulted from Governor Cuomo’s actions is the SAFE Act, a far-reaching bill “expands the state’s ban on assault weapons, puts limits on ammunition capacity and has new measures to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people,” Reuters, via the Chicago Tribune, reported minutes ago:
The measure also mandates a life sentence without parole for anyone who murders a first responder. Just two weeks after the massacre in Connecticut, an arsonist gunman ambushed and killed two firefighters responding to a fire he had set near Rochester.
New York’s bill tightens the state’s existing assault weapons ban to include semiautomatic weapons with detachable clips that have one feature associated with military weapons. The current ban includes assault weapons that have two military-style features.
The proposal also limits magazine capacity to no more than seven cartridges – the current limit is 10 cartridges – and requires a statewide re-registration of all handguns and grandfathered assault weapons.
It also would require mental health professionals to report dangerous patients to county mental health officers for potential action and would add provisions to suspend or revoke licenses for people found to pose a danger to themselves or others.
“I believe it is the most comprehensive package in the nation,” Cuomo told reporters after the vote on Monday.
“Much of this is common sense. Unfortunately, common sense has eluded us for many, many years when it comes to this issue,” Cuomo said.
The proposal was not directed at and would have no impact on hunters or sport shooters, Cuomo said.
Last week, Cuomo said the current ban on assault weapons had so many loopholes that it was unenforceable. For example, current law bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, but exempts those made before 1994.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.