New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators have agreed on gun-control laws that would make New York the first state to put new restrictions on firearms after the Newtown, Ct., school shooting, the Wall Street Journal reports. The measure would tighten the state’s ban on what it defines as assault weapons, would include a ban on ammunition magazines holding more than seven bullets, an increase in penalties for some gun crimes, and a requirement that mental-health providers report potentially dangerous patients to authorities.
New York already has some of the nation’s most-restrictive gun laws. The legislation would close what Cuomo calls loopholes in the ban, including a provision that allows what it deems assault weapons made before 1994 to be sold. The state bans ammunition magazines larger than 10 bullets, except on weapons made before 1994. The legislation would also expand background checks for most gun owners and require them to renew their license every five year. Seen by pundits as a potential presidential contender, Cuomo leapt into the national debate over gun control, responding to the Connecticut school shooting and the deaths of two firefighters lured to a burning house near Rochester, N.Y., and fatally shot on Christmas Eve. In Newtown yesterday, victims’ parents and their neighbors said they had formed a nonprofit group to promote policies that deter gun violence.