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Legislators Attempt 'Bipartisan' Push on Stronger Gun Laws

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Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh wanted to be very clear, "We are not distinguishing between conference," when asked how many Republicans support a package of eight bills that would strenghten New York's gun laws. Kavanagh says he hopes many more legislators will sign on to support the bills in the coming week.s 

Kavanagh led a press conference today unveiling an eight-point-plan to reduce gun violence in New York State. A group of over sixty legislators signed on to the plan in a letter that was sent to all the legislative leaders today. But so far the list looks heavily Democratic — in fact no Senate Republicans have signed the letter, nor have any members of the Independent Democratic Conference. Kavanagh was quick to point out that the letter was only recently sent out and that they continue to add more legislators to their ranks.

Sen. Jeff Klein's office just released a statement from the Senator: 

The IDC wholeheartedly supports swift, meaningful action that will reform and strengthen our state’s gun laws. There’s a lot that we need to do. But at the top of our list is the immediate closure of inexplicable loopholes that put dangerous weapons in the hands of individuals who should never be allowed near a weapon.

I asked IDC spokesman Eric Soufer on Thursday of last week what gun legislation the group supported and he replied that both Klein and Sen. Diane Savino supported microstamping. Soufer has yet to respond to queries made about whether Klein has seen the proposed package of 8 bills and whether he supports it. 

The 8-point-plan supported by Kavangh and a host of others would:

  1. Require universaly background checks on sale of all guns
  2. Strengthen the assault weapons ban
  3. Strengthen high capacity ammo ban
  4. Require microstamping  
  5. Require gun licenses to renewed every 5 years
  6. Improve gun dealer regulations
  7. Regulate ammunition sales
  8. Limit personal gun purchases to one a month 

"I want to make this clear," said Kavangh, "This is not a list where you can pick a few things and we will be happy. We are saying we have to do this all." 

The press conference for the unveiling of the bills was well attended and included Sens. Liz Krueger, Jose Peralta, Gustavo Rivera, Michael Gianaris, Daniel Squadron Assemblywomen Michelle Schimel, Amy Paulin and Assemblymen David Weprin, Richard Gottfried and a hot of others.

A number of Assemblymen were grousing that they had been asked by Speaker Sheldon Silver to stay late in case a deal on gun laws came together, but nothing came of it.

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Guest Friday, 12 February 2016