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Two mass shootings in the nation in the last few weeks have focused attention on gun control measures in New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has long been an advocate of gun control, but he didn’t champion any gun control bills during the session that ended earlier this summer.
Next session, he says, that will change. He says curbing gun violence will be a priority when New York lawmakers return for the legislative session that begins in January. “The gun violence has reached an undeniable point where it’s hard for anyone to refute the damage that’s being done,” said Cuomo. “It’s time to find out what else we can do and explore what else we can do.”
Cuomo didn’t offer any specifics. But he says he backs a bill now in the state Senate that would require micro stamping of cartridges to help police better identify and track guns used to commit crimes.
State Senator Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat, proposed a package of bills earlier this week that he says could make New York the toughest state in the nation against illegal guns.
The bills would limit the purchase of handguns in the state to one per month. That would prevent a scenario like that in the Aurora Colorado shooting, where the gunman allegedly purchased several hand guns in the space of a few weeks.
Gianaris’s bills would also require a 10 day waiting period for gun purchases, and mandatory safety courses for buyers. Gun dealers would have to work more closely with law enforcement, and report all sales of firearms to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice.
Gianaris is a Democrat – he’s in the minority in the state Senate. To pass, the bills need the support of at least some of the members of the Majority GOP Senate conference. So far, none are backing the bills, he says.