One Month After a Tragedy, New York Tightens Gun Laws

Gov. Cuomo signs package into law; New York is first state to usher in change since the Newtown shooting.

New York State has adopted tighter gun regulations that officials hope will act as a ballast in preventing future gun violence.

The State Assembly voted 104-43 Tuesday afternoon to pass the NY SAFE Act, just one month and one day after the tragic elementary school massacre in Newtown, CT.

The laws strengthen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law shortly after its passage in the Assembly.

Many of the cardinal changes included in the SAFE Act were touted by Cuomo in his recent State of the State address.

On Monday, the bill passed through the State Senate with resounding success, moving on to the house via a 43-to-18 vote.

Housed in the bill is an outright ban of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines that have any features "commonly associated with military weapons."

Also nestled in the package are a passel of other laws, which make bringing a gun onto school grounds a felony, and allow some gun owners to keep their licenses private—a decision for which The Journal News' gun map was likely the catalyst.

(Readers can see a more comprehensive look at the legislation here and here.)

In a statement about his signature for the legislation, Cuomo was upbeat about the measure.

"The new law will limit gun violence through common sense, reasonable reforms that include addressing the risks posed by mentally ill people who have access to guns and banning high capacity magazines and lethal assault weapons," said Cuomo in the press release. "This legislation is not about hunters, sportsmen, or legal owners who use their guns appropriately. It is about reducing gun violence and making New York a safer place to live. I thank leadership of both the Assembly and Senate for their action on this important legislation."

New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has hailed the tightening of gun laws as a step forward.

"With the passage of this legislation, our state has taken decisive action to protect New Yorkers from gun violence," he said Tuesday. "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."

Others, however, are chagrined by the legislation.

"These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime," the National Rifle Association penned in a press release Tuesday. "Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality."

Allison January 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM
well said, spot on Momma! It's the point I was trying to raise earlier that many did not get or want to. I don't agree that what our "fearless" leaders have dictated will even make a dent in this issue. Unfortunately more expensive (courtesy of taxpayers) layers of bureaucracy on all fronts will not yield compliance for that end game- a safe environment.
Francis T McVetty January 17, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Don't worry Joel, people are leaving the state of New York already because of the high taxes. These new laws will only enhance that flow.
Francis T McVetty January 17, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Pauline, WHAT? [Not ONCE have any pro gun groups come out and done anything pro-active for children's safety.] Have you ever heard of the 'Eddie Eagle Program" run and sponsored by the NRA. Your ignorance is showing again.
Francis T McVetty January 17, 2013 at 09:15 PM
@ pauline, Again the MIS-INFORMED speak out [owning automatic weapons].The second amendment guarantees YOUR right to posses a firearm, it did NOT say semi-automatic or blunderbust. Just like the firts amendment didn't say texting, telephone, or television ETC. By the way, how did "zombies " get into the discussion?
John Wilson January 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM
If you have 10 round magazines for your M1 Carbine they are not original. They were issued with 15 round magazines and with the advent of the M2 around late 1944 30 round magazines began production. At no time did the military issue 10 rounds; however, whatever the age of your 10 round magazines, they would be legal if you only load 7 rounds into them. If you load 8 rounds you could be charged with a misdemeanor.
Teleman January 17, 2013 at 10:29 PM
The laws that were drafted in just 2 days through non-transparent back room deals in the capital, went through no 3 day public comment period, and were voted on in the middle of the night without all of the senators getting enough time to read them should shame ALL citizens of NY. In your emotional, knee jerk irrational race to "do something" you're throwing your rights down the drain. Something to really be proud of.
Teleman January 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Pauline you are so representative of the anti-gun crowd here. George Washington did not draft the 2nd amendment- James Madison did- so now that we see how much the constitution means to you after your lecture and lack of knowledge of it, it's best for you to just sit this one out.
Walden Macnair January 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Francis, How about we agree on one point. All gun sales should require a background check to assure that the person buying the gun isn't a felon or dangerously insane? Can we agree on that?
Teleman January 17, 2013 at 11:11 PM
And as Francis said automatic weapons have been banned since the National Firearms Act of 1938- which was passed because criminals were using automatic weapons and outgunning the police. Your whole statement shows how ignorant of facts and narrow minded you thinking is. Law abiding citizens are not holding rallies for the guns, they're holding them for their rights. As for pro-gun groups and safety, every gun group i've been a member of places safety for adults and children as the number 1 priority. The children and adults are being murdered by other children and adults. It's time to stop personifying objects and objectifying people.
pauline schneider January 18, 2013 at 01:37 AM
@Teleman, it was Washington that sat his cabinet down with the directive to draft the Bill of rights as he believed it should be. Perhaps Madison actually wrote/drafted the piece, but I made the mistake of assuming everyone knew that it was George we need to thank for our right to speak freely and go hunting. Apparently you were not aware of this. Would you like to sit this out as well?
pauline schneider January 18, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Its pretty obvious Americans have abused this "right". Anyone whining about having this "right" tempered and regulated needs to visit Newtown and read the paper. Children and family members are being shot every. What did the NRA Eddie Eagle program do for ghem? Hm? Nada.
pauline schneider January 18, 2013 at 02:03 AM
As for anyone leaving NY. To the contrary. Always been the place to move to. Better jobs, better schools, more opportunity and now getting safer. http://westchester.news12.com/news/real-estate-sales-rise-in-the-hudson-valley-1.4449028?qr=1
joe January 18, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Pauline are you serious. This is why I love math. Math is a science. Pauline stop living in your left wing looney world. These are the facts. 100,000 people leave the state each year. We have fewer congressman (electoral college) votes than we use to. Westchester has the highest taxes of all 3500 counties in America. New York's highest income tax rate is 9.97% and you only have to make 60,000 to reach it. Better jobs? yeah, if you are a hedge fund mangager or school teacher. The unemployment rate is usually well above the national average----oh yeah, and would you like to talk about upstate.
Francis T McVetty January 19, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Most gun sales in New York require a background check,. How has this "new" law changed that?
Francis T McVetty January 19, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Pauline, it is because of "liberals" like you that the "Eddie Eagle" program is not being allowed in schools. The word "gun" is like the word "God" being used in school, it is NOT allowed.
Francis T McVetty January 19, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Pauline, Just what profession are you in, or are you independently wealthy?
Son of Liberty January 19, 2013 at 07:40 PM
This is for the Pro-Freedom aka pro-gun people. You cannot reason with the anti-gun folks. For every fact they have 3 misconceptions, hyperbole, and lies. It's pointless. Instead, if you haven't already, join the NRA. Their membership has increased by 250,000 members in the last month alone. Guns have already flown off the shelves and, for all the useless laws being passed, the gun industry is stronger than ever. The left only has themselves to blame. Let us unify under the NRA, vote these garbage politicians out of office and reclaim our state and our country. We will bring freedom back. We outnumber the vocal misinformed left. They consistently fail to realize just how many people live in this country, outside of the coastal urban areas, and are pro-gun. Change is coming. Get involved in ways that matter. These comment threads only serve to get us worked up. Take a stand, Join the NRA, and fight the left the way they fight us, through lobbies, politics, and law. It may be an uphill battle, but we aren't the whiny types. We are the ones who suck it up and get things done. Veritas Justitia et Libertas
elizabeth January 20, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Guns are created to kill, nothing more, nothing less. They are un-holy, and against the goodness in our nature. As a result, people who support them get disproportianately riled up, because deep inside, whether conscious or unconsious, they know they are wrong.
pauline schneider January 29, 2013 at 06:45 AM
steve smith February 01, 2013 at 12:27 PM
pauline, #1 ; i didnt say anything gender - wise. #2 : i was a crack shot w/ my 22 rifle when i was 8 yrs old. --so much for children.
Francis T McVetty February 02, 2013 at 03:42 PM
And those that turn their weapons into plow shears shall be governed by those who don't. Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it. If you don't a want a weapon, then YOU don't have to have one. No one is forcing you to. When someone breaks into you house, just call the police. I'm sure that the criminals will wait till the police arrive. One thing though, please don't think that I will help you. It is a Darwinian thing, only the strong survive.
James Bankhart February 02, 2013 at 04:33 PM
What these fools have done is akin to Prohibition. They will take the majority of law abiding people and create an underground market for firearms and accessories. This will actually fuel the gun running that has been the problem all along. The market will no longer just be low lifes, but average people. Prohibition did not end drinking, it funded Organized Crime.
Ross Revira February 03, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Must be anti-nuke with that logic.
Abby Normal February 03, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Why is it that the pro-gun people wrap themselves in the flag of patriotism to say they must have guns in order to launch an insurrection against the government?
Francis T McVetty February 04, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Abby, again please read the second amendment again. Maybe it will a few times for you to understand it. You may also want to read the Jefferson papers to understand the thoughts of the founding fathers. No one is launching a insurrection against the government, but if there ever comes a time, the founding fathers gave us the " ammunition" to do just that. We are probably the only country in the world left that the citizens could actually stand up to a tyrannical government. When only the police or the government have weapons, you have NO freedom. The history of that is abundant.
Aidan February 04, 2013 at 10:28 PM
"wrap themselves in the flag of patriotism" ... another libtard expression.
Aidan February 04, 2013 at 10:30 PM
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" -- Thomas Jefferson
Abby Normal February 05, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Aiden. Allow me to refer you to a source: http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/strongest-reason-people-to-retain-right-to-keep-and-bear-arms-quotation That link is the Jefferson website who say that this quote which is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was never written in any of his writings and cannot be traced back to him in any form. You see Aiden and Francis, that is the problem with getting all your news from Sean Hannity. So Francis, when you are ready to enlist in a well organized militia, please let me know and I'll see what we can do for you. In the meantime you need to understand that the 2nd amendment has been restricted before and will be again. That's why you can't own a machine gun and in New York State you can't own a lot of other guns such as AR-15's and high capacity magazines. I know as you grow old your eyesight may be failing you but I leave you with this; In the meantime if you think that the government of the United States is Tyrannical, your are simply demented.
Dan Seidel February 05, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Hey Abby: check your sources again: Aidan is correct: It's a Jeffersonism. it is from the Proposal for the Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334 (C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950).
Ross Revira February 05, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Abby Normal (what an oxymoron) I went to the link you provided and it quotes Thomas Jefferson writing "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." in a draft of the Virginia Constitution. You have to stop getting all your information from that great intellectual Piers Morgan.


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