Cuomo Says He’ll Outline Gun Proposal Next Month

by THOMAS KAPLAN, The New York Times  |  published on December 24, 2012

Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday that he had started discussions with leaders of the State Legislature about new gun control measures, and that he planned to propose a package of gun legislation in his State of the State address on Jan. 9.

“There’s a big difference of opinion on these issues,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in an interview on an Albany radio station.

The New York Assembly, controlled by Democrats, has voted for a number of proposed gun control measures in recent years, only to have the legislation falter in the Senate, which has been controlled by Republicans. (Starting next month, the Senate is to be led by a coalition of Republicans and a breakaway faction of Democrats.)

Mr. Cuomo, speaking on WGDJ-AM, said gun control had not recently been among the most discussed topics in the capital, so he had reached out to lawmakers to gauge where they stood before he made his proposals final.

He added that he was focusing his attention on changing state laws restricting the possession of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The governor described the state’s existing ban on those items as having “more holes than Swiss cheese.”

“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’ ” he said. At the same time, he noted that he owns a shotgun that he has used for hunting, and said, “There is a balance here — I understand the rights of gun owners; I understand the rights of hunters.”

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