New York

Senator Vows To Pass Toughest Gun Laws In Nation

by Jessica Bakeman, PressConnects.com  |  published on January 5, 2013

A breakaway group of Senate Democrats vowed Friday to help Gov. Andrew Cuomo pass the strongest assault-weapons ban in the country.

Sen. Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, who heads the now-five-member Independent Democratic Conference, said after an hour-and-a-half-long meeting in Cuomo’ Capitol office that the group supports the governor’s legislation “wholeheartedly,” and that he hopes it will be passed as soon as possible — preferably this month.

Cuomo has yet to publicly reveal his gun-control proposal, but he has said one is expected as part of his State of the State address next Wednesday.

“I think we’re on the same page,” Klein said. “That we have to do everything possible to ban assault weapons in New York, (as well as) high-capacity magazines, make sure that people with serious mental health issues don’t possess guns. And I think that’s what we have to do in the state of New York — pass one of the toughest gun laws in the nation.”

Klein brokered a power-sharing deal with Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, in which the two will alternate the Senate presidency every two weeks. The coalition government will control the chamber, shifting power away from Democrats who might have had the majority otherwise.

Klein said Friday he has not yet discussed the proposed legislation with Skelos. It is unclear what type of gun-control legislation Senate Republicans might support.

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