Monday, 17 December 2012 18:24

Cuomo: Gun Control A Federal Issue

Written by  Nick Reisman
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With gun control legislation a possible deal breaker for the state Senate majority coalition, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today called gun control a “fundamentally” federal matter, but said states can provide help to stem gun violence.

“I think that is fundamentally a federal matter because the guns easily transfer over borders,” he said. ”States can help, and each state should look at their laws and we’re lokoing at our laws, but the most efficient vehicle is a federal law.”

Cuomo, who supports the microstamping of bullet casings, wouldn’t say which gun control measures he would push for on the state level in a news conference earlier today, though he called a provision in the state’s ban on assault weapons that grandfathers in high-capacity ammunition magazines manufactured before the ban took effect a loophole in the law.

Asked specifically whether he would support the microstamping legislation that has languished in the Republican-controlled state Senate, he hedged.

“We are going to have a number of propsoals that we are going to make,” Cuomo said. ”There are things that the states can do. I think there’s a role for the states, but I think there’s certainly a role for the federal government.”

Cuomo wouldn’t say whether he plans to introduce any gun control measures in the State of the State address on Jan. 9.

“You’ll have to wait for the State of the State,” he said.

Calls for tighter gun control legislation come as a gunmen killed 26 people in a Connecticut elementary school, including 20 children, before killing himself.

But the chances of gun control legislation passing in New York — generally considered to be one of the stronger firearm regulated states in the country — are complicated by a governing coalition in the Senate of six Democrats and at least 30 Republicans.

The Senate GOP has balked at gun control measures in the last legislative session.

In 2010, then-candidate Cuomo pushed for stemming the tide of illegal guns falling into the hands of criminals, as well as interstate cooperation with governors on illegal guns.

As for the federal level, whether the lawmakers and President Obama can come to an agreement on federal control legislation, such as a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban — remains to be seen.

Cuomo says that pro gun-control officials can make the case by building support.

“I believe on some issues to an extent you can create public will and I believe on this issue you can educate people and if they understand the facts they would understand reform on this matter,” he said.

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