posted on January 15, 2013 11:58
New York State is ready to enact the nation's first gun control measure since the shooting tragedy in Connecticut last month.
A tentative deal with state lawmakers announced late Monday would further restrict ownership of assault weapons and refine mental health laws.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's the most comprehensive gun control package in the nation.
“Mental health professionals will be required to report dangerous patients – people who the mental health professional believes are a danger to themselves or others," Cuomo said.
The State Senate approved the bill late Monday by a vote of 43 to 18. The Assembly is expected to follow suit today and is voting this afternoon.
“I think the message out there is so clear after Newtown," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said. "To get us down this road as quickly as possible to basically eradicate assault weapons from our streets in New York as quickly as possible is something the people of this state want and it’s an important thing to do. It is an emergency.”
The NY SAFE Act, as it’s called, includes an immediate ban on semi-automatic rifles and pistols with “military-style” features, a ban on magazines that hold more than seven rounds, requires universal background checks for all gun sales, and stricter penalties for firearm-related crimes.
It also includes a “Webster provision” which calls for a life-without-parole prison sentence for anyone who murders a first responder.