Late this evening Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled sweeping new gun control legislation, which includes a stricter ban on assault weapons and a registry for certain weapons.
After a day of much waiting and anticipation, the governor announced in a news conference about a dozen tough new regulations aimed at preventing gun violence. The package included a strict ban on assault weapons, a restriction on the number of bullets in a magazine, a registry for certain weapons, a mental health provision and a reaction to the shooting of firefighters in western New York recently.
Read the full text of the legislation and explanation memo at the Capital Region Scene.
Cuomo said the rush to pass this legislation stems from some of the provisions it includes, which might cause people to rush out to stores and purchase items that could be illegal soon. The bill has an immediate effective date.
The rush to move this legislation was criticized by Assemblyman Tony Jordan, R-Jackson, who was recently elevated to the second position in his conference. He argued that the message of necessity from Cuomo, which skips the three day aging period for legislation, was a political move by the governor.
Jordan said the state Legislature should take time to debate the issue of gun violence, including mental health concerns, for at least a few days. Instead, he said, "what we're getting is a rush to pass this."
The legislation was not unveiled with legislative leaders from either chamber or party. Cuomo said that was because the package represented a proposal and not an agreed upon deal. He said it wasn't clear if the Senate, which has been reluctant to embrace strict regulation, would pass his proposal tonight.
Prior to learning the specifics of the package, Assemblyman Phil Steck, D-Colonie, said it wasn't exactly what he would draw up, but called the plans a good step forward.
Additional information will be posted soon.