Cuomo Seeks to Tighten New York Assault-Rifle Ban After Newtown
By Freeman Klopott - Jan 7, 2013
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will propose stricter gun regulations after U.S. shooting massacres in 2012 renewed calls for tighter firearms control.
The 55-year-old Democrat, who will outline his third-year agenda in the State of the State speech tomorrow, has said in a series of interviews and public appearances that he’ll seek to tighten the state’s 2000 ban on assault rifles. The law has “more holes than Swiss cheese,” Cuomo said in a December radio interview.
Shootings that left 40 people dead in Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; and Webster, New York; were all conducted with the same assault-style firearm: the .223-caliber AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Since 2011, Bushmaster Firearms International has manufactured a version of the weapon in Ilion, New York, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) west of Albany.
“The public is outraged by the extreme lethality of these weapons and will be happy to know the assault-weapons ban is corrected and made stronger,” said Jackie Hilly, head of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, a Manhattan-based group that supports laws restricting firearms ownership. “It’s responsible of the governor to take action. The public’s attention is really focused on it.”
New York’s ban prohibits semi-automatic rifles only if they have specific combinations of additions, such as a pistol grip and a flash suppressor. Cuomo said yesterday at a news briefing in Albany that he wants to ban all firearms defined as a “rifle with a high-capacity magazine that has the indicia of an assault weapon.”