Exactly one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Governor Andrew Cuomo and other New York legislators are working on passing a new gun control proposal that they hope will embrace common sense and make the state a safer place to live. The new law would not ban guns completely, but focus instead on stricter gun registration regulations and enforcement of the state’s assault weapon ban. The State Assembly is expected to vote on the issue today, and it is anticipated that the proposal will pass easily. The bill was already approved by the Senate 43-18 on Monday night.
Cuomo’s proposal solidified much of what he outlined in his recent State of the State address. In light of the Newtown incident, the governor and other legislators called out the need to bring gun control to the forefront and take action to keep citizens safe. The Governor, who even admitted he owns guns and has used guns, also pointed out that the legislation was not intended to deny people of their Second Amendment rights by abolishing guns completely. The idea is to practice common sense and recognize that hunters have no need for assault rifles that can kill 20 people at once.
The new legislation includes items such as police registry of assault weapons, limiting the number of bullets in magazines and more preventative measures to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill. The proposal would target not just the sale of new assault weapons, but also those already in private hands. Current and future owners will be mandated to register the weapons, creating a paper trail even for secondhand firearms. New sales would require background checks, and the sale of assault weapons on the internet would be banned entirely.
At the moment, assault weapon owners are allowed to possess ten bullets, but with the proposal, this number would be reduced to seven, with the penalty of a misdemeanor charge if caught with more than eight bullets.
Some gun owners may be angered by the new restrictions, claiming that they penalize law-abiding citizens. But with the alarming increase of gun violence in the last few years, precautionary measures like these seem like a small price to pay for our lives.
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