New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo intends to take a lead role in a broad campaign pressing for a crackdown on the improper dealing of firearms, says the New York Times. The newspaper says Cuomo is “swerving into national politics on an issue that has caused him some political heartburn in New York but has become a defining subject of the 2016 presidential campaign.” Cuomo, a Democrat, has pledged to throw his weight behind the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in an as-yet-unannounced effort demanding that the Justice Department more closely scrutinize so-called bad apple gun merchants.
Cuomo said he would hit the campaign trail in 2016 to emphasize the issue of gun violence, which he repeatedly called “the big issue” in national politics. “The political climate is right again for action,” said Cuomo, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. He added, “The appetite is there, I think, in the presidential election, especially in the Democratic primary but also in the general election.” Cuomo will be among the chief signatories of a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging the Justice Department to punish what the Brady Campaign describes as a small fraction of gun dealers who sell an overwhelming share of weapons used to commit crimes. He has promised to lobby other governors to join in the push.