New York Becomes First State to Pass Gun Control Bill After Newtown
Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address was entitled "New York Rising." What happened yesterday in Albany might explain why.
In a 104 to 43 vote, the New York State Assembly officially passed the NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act on Tuesday afternoon. The bill was handed down from the State Senate, where it passed 43 to 18 late Monday night. In a signing ceremony on Tuesday evening, Governor Cuomo, alongside other top state officials, signed the bill, making New York the first state in the country to pass significant gun control measures after what happened in Newtown a month ago.
As President Obama weighs 19 executive orders related to the issue on a federal level, the NRA issued a statement in response to New York's new law, calling it an "all-out assault on the Second Amendment and the law-abiding citizens of New York." But, if the large margins in both of New York's chambers are any indication, the gun-toting lobby group may be in the serious minority on this one.
The bill was heralded by New York's upper echelon of power.
In no surprise to anyone really, Bloomberg applauded the NY SAFE Act and reprimanded the NRA for pulling the Second Amendment card, arguing that it "protects the Second Amendment rights of people and, at the same, it makes all New Yorkers safer." And, in a statement released by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the top lawyer defended his boss's landmark, too:
"With the passage of this legislation, our state has taken decisive action to protect New Yorkers from gun violence. By expanding the state's assault weapons ban, limiting high-capacity magazines and improving background checks, among other measures, the Legislature and Governor Cuomo deserve credit for putting the safety of our communities first. I look forward to continuing to work together with my colleagues in government and law enforcement as we seek to expand our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."
Ranging from mental-health issues to improved data-gathering authority, the bill has a lot in it -- a longitude of provisions that, knowing the nature of politics, attests to the remarkable pace that Albany actually got this thing passed. If you want to read the whole thing, The New York Times has it here.
Cheers to being a New Yorker. Now on to Washington.