New York gun control

Gun control bill advances

by Jimmy Vielkind, TimesUnion.com  |  published on January 15, 2013

State lawmakers took a step Monday night to broaden the state’s definition of banned assault weapons, increase penalties for those convicted of illegal gun possession and create a statewide database for gun permits.

The legislation, called the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, emerged quickly after several weeks of negotiations and finally saw action on Monday — the one-month anniversary of the deadly school shootings in Newtown, Conn. — when the state Senate approved it 43-18.

The Democrat-dominated Assembly adjourned around 11 p.m., with officials saying they expected a vote Tuesday morning.

“I believe it’s the most comprehensive package in the nation,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters in the Red Room in a news conference just after 9 p.m. in which he and top aides explained the bill’s provisions.

Fearing gun advocates would descend on the Capitol, lawmakers considered the measure relatively free of public protest — and with little time for public vetting — after Cuomo waived the three-day bill-aging requirement with a special “message of necessity.”

He said that legislative shortcut, which he and lawmakers have been criticized for using in the past, served a dual purpose: to take advantage of the deal and to prevent a rush to gun retailers by customers trying to grandfather in assault weapons that will be banned from sale after he signs the measure.

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