Albany Round-up

March 5, 2013

Senate GOP wants to change gun law; Cuomo says no


Cuomo has said he will support only "technical" corrections to his bill. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, said through a spokesman Monday that he is not open to substantive changes.

"The bill passed by an overwhelming margin," Cuomo said in a Monday evening news conference. "I think it's one of the proudest acts this New York state Legislature has passed. I believe it will save lives."

The law created a rift among New Yorkers and split Republican senators. Many upstate New Yorkers have been critical of the measure, which is strongly supported in New York City and its suburbs. Most upstate Republican senators opposed the bill, while most Long Island Republicans supported it. A unified GOP could have blocked the bill in the Senate.

The "cleanup bill" is needed because of errors in the original legislation.

The errors include language that would make police officers' guns illegal, require written permission for police to go on school grounds with a loaded weapon and could stop the production of violent TV shows and movies in New York.

The "cleanup bill" is the result of the quick passage of the law negotiated in private that avoided a chance for New York gun owners and the National Rifle Association to mount strong opposition. Cuomo had ordered a "message of necessity," which was approved by the Senate and Assembly, to suspend the usual three days' public review required by the constitution of all bills.

Sen. Jeffrey Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate who sponsored the bill, she he's proud of the law and is open to technical changes. Under the partnership the Republicans and IDC use to rule the Senate, the Republicans could block the technical cleanup bill to force more substantive changes.

Two legal actions have begun that challenge the law on constitutional grounds.

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