N.Y. Assembly Speaker Silver: ‘We Are Going To Ban Assault Weapons’ [CBS]
ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The New York State Legislature was poised Monday night to pass the first gun control measure following the Newtown school massacre. This as the vice president was set to unveil federal proposals to end gun violence on Tuesday.
Albany lawmakers have reportedly ironed out the kinks, allowing them to enact new gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.
“To basically eradicate assault weapons from our streets in New York as quickly as possible is something the people of this state want and it’s an important thing to do. It is an emergency,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
Sources told Kramer the deal worked out by the Legislature is wide ranging, but it starts with assault weapons.
“We are going to ban assault weapons. We are going to eliminate all of the loopholes that existed previously,” Silver said.
The new state legislation will:
* Limit ammunition clips to seven. It’s now 10
* Force gun owners to renew their licenses every five years
* Stiffen penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime
* Stiffen penalties for bringing a gun on school property
* New restrictions on the assault weapons already owned by New Yorkers
“They will be basically not permitted to be transferred. They will be grandfathered in but not in terms of a transfer. There will be a registry,” Silver said.
The state agreement came a day before Vice President Joe Biden was set to give his gun control recommendations to the president. With the gun lobby at a fevered pitch, President Barack Obama said there will be some things he can do without congressional approve.
“I’m confident that there are some steps that we can take that don’t require legislation,” the president said Monday.
One of those steps, also sought by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would have the president order the Justice Department to prosecute criminals who provide false information to buy a gun.
The mayor said that in 2010 there were 76,000 cases referred by the FBI to the Justice Department. Only 44 were prosecuted.
“This is a joke. It’s a sad joke, and it’s a lethal joke,” Bloomberg said.
It’s not clear whether the president will spend his political capital on seeking to re-impose the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The gun lobby has vowed to defeat it in congress. And prominent Republicans, like Sen. John McCain, are opposed.