Skip to comments.New gun law offers reply to mass killings
Posted on 01/15/2013 10:05:42 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
ALBANY "We are fighting back," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said before signing a sweeping gun control bill at the Capitol just an hour after the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was approved by the state Assembly.
The measure expands the definition of banned assault weapons, creates a state database for pistol permits, reduces the maximum number of rounds in a magazine and requires background checks on all gun sales, including those between individuals.
"You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense," Cuomo said Tuesday afternoon in the Red Room, which was filled with reporters as well as law enforcement officials, including Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and city of Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff.
The governor expressed regret that it "required tragedies and loss of life to actually spur the political process to action," a reference to the Dec. 14 school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and the killings of two firefighters in the Rochester suburb of Webster 10 days later.
After passing the state Senate 43-18 late Monday night, the bill cleared the Democrat-dominated Assembly 104-43 at the end of an almost-five-hour debate Tuesday.
"Let us be perfectly clear: This bill is about protecting people protecting our children, protecting our families, protecting first responders, police officers and firefighters," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by two of the state Senate's three conference leaders: Jeff Klein of the five-member Independent Democratic Conference and Andrea Stewart-Cousins of the main Democratic body.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, who controls the chamber jointly with Klein, did not attend. A dozen members of the GOP conference voted in favor of the measure.
Also not celebrating was the National Rifle Association, which released a statement saying it was "outraged at the draconian gun control bill that was rushed through the process late Monday evening." The powerful gun lobbying organization called it "a secretive end run around the legislative and democratic process ... with no committee hearings and no public input."
While the Senate moved directly to the roll call of votes on the measure, Tuesday's Assembly debate saw Republicans peppering Democrats for details of the bill's provisions.
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Schenectady, held up a copy of the U.S. Constitution that the lawmaker said he never leaves home without. "Amendment Two you're going to turn that into Amendment 1.5 today," Tedisco said of what he described as the diminishment of gun rights.
Others called out Cuomo for what they accused was an overweening desire to pass the nation's first legislative response to the recent spate of shootings. Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Westchester County, knocked what he called Cuomo's "misguided, egotistical" attempt to boost his presidential prospects in 2016.
Others expressed concern over the bill's expansion of mental health providers' ability to commit those found to be a danger to the public under what's known as Kendra's Law. The SAFE Act also requires mental health professionals to report to local officials if they think a patient could prove to be a danger to himself or the general public, and empowers local law enforcement to collect the patient's guns and suspend firearms permits.
"I think many of us object to the connection between violence and mental illness ... that seems to inform these new policies," said Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the state Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, which represents mental health care consumers and providers. " ... You get this kind of round-'em-up mentality that I think will only deter care."
Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, Rosenthal pointed out, was apparently never diagnosed with the sort of mental illness that would have triggered the provisions of the new law.
"Whether it's Adam Lanza or any number of people who are at risk, I think the system in New York for too long has been unresponsive," said Rosenthal, who served as a member of Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team. " ... I don't think Kendra's Law, which depends on cops and courts, does that."
Glenmont's Michael Carey, whose 13-year-old autistic son Jonathan died in 2007 at the hands of a health care worker who was trying to restrain him, said he was less bothered by the chance the bill would stigmatize the mentally ill than with what he described as the state's inadequate resources to serve them.
"If there are families in trouble but no crisis care to take them to, what do you do?" said Carey, a vocal critic of Cuomo's mental hygiene reforms.
In another sign of guns' diminished status in state government, New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Tuesday announced that the state's vast Common Retirement Fund will freeze its investments in publicly traded commercial firearm manufacturers.
The freeze affects the pension fund's holdings in an index fund of 45,325 shares of Sturm, Ruger and Company valued at approximately $2.2 million pin money compared with the fund's full value of $153 billion.
The pension fund's holdings in Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation were sold in December, just four days after the shootings in Connecticut.
In a statement, DiNapoli like Cuomo a Democrat insisted that the decision was not political, but strictly business.
"After the terrible events in Newtown," he said, "it is clear that the national movement toward greater regulation of firearms manufacturers will impose significant reputational, regulatory and statutory hurdles that may affect shareholder value."
New York’s politicians attacked two groups of people: gun owners and the mentally ill.
Nice gig when you can get it.
And it won’t stop a future Sandy Hook style massacre.
Cuomo is not fighting back, he is making it so we the people can’t, Cuomo is a tyrant and should be arrested for violating our nation’s constitution and its’ bill of rights!
So, Andrew, you are fighting back by punishing and rendering defenseless people who had absolutely nothing to do with “whatever” it was that occurred at Sandy Hook?
How tyrannical of you, Andrew.
May you have a nice, warm chair in Hell next to Adolf, you son of a bitch.
If you wanna contrast gun laws, look at MD and VA.
MD has like the 4th most restritive laws and VA hs right to carry.
Look at the statistics:
Population: MD 5.8M/VA 8.1M [40% more in VA]
Violent Crime Per 100,000: MD 548/VA 214 [150% more in MD]
Total Annual Violent Crime: MD 31784/VA 17334 [90% more in MD]
‘Nuff said ...
No, but pesky Patriots will all be dead and the shooters will just be lowering the population.Win - Win?
This state’s governor has such little regard for gun owners that he compares them to the Sandy Hook lunatic and calls them “extremists”.
If our governor shot his mouth off (Mike Pence? Never) at citizens and taxpayers like this, he would be run out of the state.
How humiliating for residents of the Empire state.
Until Cuomo and his supporters have been impeached and removed from office4e for breaccching their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the Second Amendmeent, we can chose to refrain from further business with the New York and its businesses.
Of which you haven't any to speak of.
All the mental health provisions will be thrown out in due time by one of New York’s liberal jurists thus leaving only the gun provisions intact. Bank on it.
It’s even more surprising when you add DC to your comparison.
“You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense,” Cuomo said Tuesday”
WHY in the name of GOD, any REPUBLICANS voted with this demogoguing monstrosity on such a horrible bill?
If nothing else, this PROVES the Republican Party is merely Democrat Light and NOT a solution to our problems.
So, you solution is write another gun law.
Can I ask, did you first repeal all of the ineffective laws first? Oh, you just added a new one.
What makes you think that your new law will be any more effective that the older ones? Oh, the older laws were ineffective because you weren't involved.
What did you say your last name was?
Now that New York has its own version of der fuhrer, how far away are the construction of concentration camps? How long before politicians are found with ice picks in their heads? New Yorkers are about to get a good dose of Stalinism and Nazism. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Cuomo will start the first Indian war since the 19th century.