Governor Andrew Cuomo has vowed New York will become the nation’s leader in gun safety laws in wake of recent shootings.
At his annual State of the State address on January 9, Cuomo put forth a seven-point agenda that would lead to some of the tightest gun regulations in the country – particularly aimed at assault weapons and multi-round ammunition clips.
“I know that the issue of gun control is hard,” an energized Cuomo said during his closing remarks. “But we are proposing today common sense measures. It’s simple: no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer.”
Cuomo’s seven points are: the toughest assault rifle ban in the country; closing a private sale loophole by requiring background checks; banning high-capacity magazines; harsher penalties for illegal gun use; keeping guns away from the mentally ill; blocking direct Internet sales of ammunition in the state; and creating a state check on all ammunition purchases.
While the governor wants to crack down on high-powered rifles, he clarified any new gun legislation would not harm legal gun owners and would be a balanced plan.
“This is not taking away people’s guns,” Cuomo said. It is “about ending the unnecessary risk of high-capacity assault rifles.”
Relief and moving forward after Sandy dominated a good portion of Cuomo’s hour-and-a-half address.
On delayed federal aid, Cuomo called on Congress to stop “playing politics” and give relief to New York and New Jersey residents who desperately need it. The $9.7 billion initially passed Friday, January 4 for flood insurance was not enough, Cuomo said, and more had to be done.
“My friends, that [$9 billion] is just too little and that is too late,” he said. “This has long been established that in the face of a disaster, the federal government comes in to help.”
Cuomo promised the city as a whole would come back bigger and better, by remaking homes to last and resist future storms, especially in coastal regions. Raising homes in areas such as Rockaway could prevent future flooding like that during Sandy’s surge. The state also plans on buying parcels of land from residents who want to relocate to higher-elevated areas.
This also includes better precautionary measures for tunnels and subways. Though this would be costly for the state, Cuomo said he wants to do it now to prevent the city from shutting down in the way it did after Sandy.
“We can rebuild a better society than we had,” he said.
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