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Capitol Watch: Cuomo touts New York as model on gun control

The Democrat urged his party's presidential candidates to sign on to what he's calling the "Make America Safer" pledge.
Credit: WGRZ

ALBANY, N.Y. — In state government news, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering up New York as an example of how the nation could address mass shootings and gun violence.

The Democrat urged his party's presidential candidates to sign on to what he's calling the "Make America Safer" pledge.

Meanwhile, there's more help coming for victims of domestic violence in New York, thanks to a state law making it easier to report abuse to authorities.

Here's a look at stories making news:


Six years ago, Cuomo pushed through one of the nation's toughest gun-control laws — known as the SAFE Act — in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.

Now, following the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Cuomo says the nation should follow New York's lead. The SAFE Act expanded a ban on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthened background checks and required mental health professionals to report patients who shouldn't be allowed to possess firearms.

Cuomo's pledge supports similar ideas as the federal level.

"If you can't support those four things, I don't believe you should be running for president as a Democrat," Cuomo said on CNN Wednesday. "Make it simple. Make it true. Four points — the Make America Safer Pledge. Period."

Cuomo's pledge has yet to get the attention of the candidates, who have their own proposals for gun control.

New York's rules remain deeply unpopular with many gun owners and gun rights advocates. Last month, when Cuomo signed an expanded waiting period into law, gun rights supporters said it was another unnecessary law that won't save lives.

"This is something that the governor and the politicians are saying will make you safer," said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. That's hogwash."

The law extended the waiting period for regulated gun purchases from three to 30 days when the instant background check returns inconclusive results.

Other changes to guns laws that lawmakers and Cuomo approved this year include a "red flag" law that permits judges to order the removal guns from the homes of students when teachers or school administrators conclude they are a danger to themselves or others.

Lawmakers also voted to ban 3D-printed guns, which are invisible to metal detectors.


Victims of domestic violence will now be able to report their abuse to any law enforcement agency in the state — and not just in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.

Under the old law, victims often had to contact the police in the jurisdiction where the offense occurred — which can pose a problem for victims who have fled their home to get away from an abusive partner.

The bill's sponsor in the Senate, Sen. David Carlucci, D-Rockland County, said the change should "lead to increased domestic violence reporting, allow survivors to get to safety, and hopefully prevent future tragedies."

The new law takes effect Oct. 7.

Two other new laws also address domestic violence. One will allow victims to vote by mail, to prevent victims from having to run into their abusers at a polling place. The other would broaden the state's legal definition of domestic violence to include forms of economic abuse.


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