(UPDATE) Governor Cuomo signs unparalleled gun bill into law

Andrew M. Cuomo.
GETTY IMAGES

UPDATE: The NY SAFE Act passed the Assembly on Tuesday afternoon, and Governor Cuomo will sign it into law Wednesday at 11am.

Cuomo explained the rush to pass the bill as a “message of necessity,” related reports that the news that he was even considering an assault weapons ban had led to a spike in assault weapons sales.

“I didn’t want to do something that would actually increase the sale of assault weapons,” Cuomo said.

Metro’s original story is below.

After a day of will-he-or-won’t-he rumors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at 8:45 Monday night that a gun control bill to be presented to the Senate for a vote immediately, waiving the required three-day waiting period for a legislative vote.

The bill was pushed to the Senate floor by the Rules Committee that night after little debate and just a handful of opposing votes.

The Senate approved the bill 43-18.

The bill promises to “protect New Yorkers by reducing the availability of assault weapons and deterring the criminal use of firearms while promoting a fair, consistent and efficient method of ensuring that sportsmen and other legal gun owners have full enjoyment of the guns to which they are entitled.”

It is said to be the “toughest, most comprehensive and balanced answer in the nation to gun violence,” and will be the first gun control law in the country to completely ban all pre-1994 high capacity magazines as well as any magazine that holds more than seven rounds (rather than limiting magazines to 10 rounds).

Exceptions are made for currently possessed magazines that hold more than seven but not more than ten rounds, but those magazines may not contain more than seven rounds of ammunition. Additional exceptions are made for large capacity magazines “that are curios or relics.”

It is also the first bill in the nation to mandate monitoring of ammunition purchases in real time to watch out for high-volume buyers while also performing background checks on ammunition, not just firearm purchases.

The bill includes a statewide database that will maintain a current registry, with an eye to preventing mentally unstable individuals from possessing or obtaining firearms.

It also closes an often-criticized loophole that excludes private sales of guns from federal background checks. Background checks will not be mandatory for sales to immediate family members.

The bill is set to take effect immediately, reportedly to prevent a last-minute run on less-regulated gun purchases.

The bill now goes to the New York Assembly for a vote.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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