(Democrat & Chronicle, Shawn Dowd/ Associated Press ) – NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seated at center, gets a congratulatory hand shake from Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy after signing the NY Safe Act during a signing ceremony at City Hall in Rochester Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. Cuomo signed into law on Tuesday legislation that tightens a ban on assault-style rifles, calls for background checks on ammunition purchases, outlaws large-capacity magazines and tries to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people deemed to be a threat.
The group annually sponsors “Sportsmen’s Day” where hundreds of hunters and other gun owners crowd statehouse hallways to urge their legislators to support gun rights. There was no chance to mount a similar event this week, since it would require a designated Capitol space, permits, legislative sponsorship and arranging for buses and city parking fees, King said.
“It takes longer than two days to do that,” he said.
King said his group asked members to call legislators ahead of the legislative session when they knew it would be coming up as an issue.
“We urged our members to call rather than email. It’s awful easy to delete emails, but you have to answer the phone,” King said. “That’s something we do any time there’s any kind of threat to Second Amendment rights.”
Cuomo and legislative leaders negotiated the bill’s language behind closed doors, a regular occurrence in Albany. The bill was introduced on Monday evening, passed the Senate on Monday night and approved by the Assembly on Tuesday. Cuomo, who issued a special waiver to avoid the usual three-day window for lawmakers and the public to review bills, signed it into law late Tuesday afternoon.
Cuomo said in a radio interview Thursday that the one-day buying spree at gun stores would have turned into three if he hadn’t asked lawmakers to shortcut the usual waiting period for acting on new legislation.
He said polling shows most New Yorkers favor tighter gun restrictions. A Siena College poll released Thursday showed 73 percent of the state’s voters want the toughest assault weapon and magazine restrictions in the U.S.
The new law reduces the maximum legal magazine size from 10 bullets to seven. It redefines assault weapons to include semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines that have one military-style feature such as a pistol grip, flash suppressor or bayonet mount, instead of two. Owners of an estimated 1 million formerly legal guns can keep them but are required to register them with state police within a year.
The legislation was not a complete surprise to New York’s estimated 4.75 million gun owners. Cuomo had promised tighter gun laws following the December slayings of 20 children and six educators at a Connecticut elementary school. Authorities said the gunman used a military-style semiautomatic rifle and 30-round magazines.
Click Here to continue reading.