Cuomo calls for ‘toughest assault weapon ban in the nation’

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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As the gun control debate rages, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the state to enact the “toughest assault weapon ban in the nation” in his State of the State address Wednesday afternoon.

The speech came just hours after Vice President Joe Biden met with gun-control groups at the White House and said that “the president is going to act” on the topic of gun control and that President Barack Obama might use “executive action” to do so. Both calls come in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Cuomo said gun policy should focus on limiting access to assault rifles and high-capacity magazine.

“We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured,” Cuomo said. “We respect hunters and sportsman. This is not taking away people’s guns. I own a gun … that’s not what this is about.”

“It is about ending the unnecessary risk of high-capacity assault rifles. That’s what this is about,” he added.

At the top of Cuomo’s agenda for gun policy moving forward was to “enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation. Period.”

He also called for federal background checks on private gun sales, the banning of high capacity magazines, enacting tougher penalties for illegal gun use, preventing the mentally ill from getting access to guns, and banning “direct Internet sales” of ammunition to New York residents.

In that way, he said, the state of New York would “lead the way, once again, in saving lives.”

“We must stop the madness, my friends,” Cuomo said. “And in one word, it’s just enough. It has been enough.”

“We are proposing today common sense measures,” he said in his concluding remarks.

“Forget the extremists,” he said. “It’s simple: No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs ten bullets to kill a deer. And too many innocent people have died already.”

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