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NY Passes Strictest Gun Law in U.S.

Cuomo signs package into law, making the empire state the first to usher in change after Newtown shootings.

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-to-43 Tuesday afternoon to pass the NY SAFE Act, just one month and one day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, CT. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill the same afternoon.

In passing the measure, the legislature tightened what were already some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. 

The laws strengthen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law sometime Tuesday, or shortly after.

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 liscenses private—a decision for which The Journal News' gun map was likely the catalyst. See more on the legislation here.

But the most significant reform comes in the form of new strict limitation on access to guns by the mentally ill:

The new bill will require psychiatrists, doctors and other mental health professionals to report to authorities any patients likely to harm themselves or others. Law enforcement would then be authorized to confiscate any firearm owned by a dangerous patient.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who issued a particularly strongly worded statement saying the calling for gun control following the Sandy Hook shootings, praised the legislation, noting that there were more than 500 people wounded by firearms in Brooklyn in 2012 and two police officers already shot in Brooklyn in 2013."

"It has never been clearer that our nation is faced with an ongoing crisis of gun violence. The Second Amendment does not guarantee access to weapons of mass devastation, nor does it provide anyone the right to wage war on the safety of our children, our first responders or any innocent citizen," he said in a statement.

The NRA immediately came out against it. 

"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."

Jared Ranere January 16, 2013 at 02:13 PM
I wonder how this would affect shooting incidents in this neighborhood, such as those at the West Indian Day Parade.
vincent romero January 16, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Thugs will still be able to get their hands on hand guns with no problems and rob citizens of N.Y.

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