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The call for more gun controls has been a familiar refrain following the Connecticut elementary school massacre, but a number of N.R.A. backed congressional Democrats and some Republicans have joined the chorus this time. Some opponents of the N.R.A. say this most recent tragedy could provide a true test of the powerful organization. Even conservative pundit Joe Scarborough has called for stricter rules and Wal-Mart removed a semiautomatic assault rifle similar to the one used in the incident from its Web site. In the wake of the shooting, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a new campaign for stricter rules, and will send out 34 videos to each member of Congress, a number meant to symbolize how many gun victims are killed daily nationwide. Gov. Cuomo also called for stricter federal rules, although he said the state’s assault weapons ban should be tightened, too.

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In the Press...

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Sen. Gustavo Rivera says he hopes to see bipartisan movement on common sense gun legislation in the State Senate but as we reported today it won't likely be easy to move gun laws through the state Senate because of partisan issues.

"This is another reason why the Democrats should in the majority. If we were in the majority we would be able to introduce legislation that would make it harder for criminals to own guns. As it is we will have to pressure the Republican led majority."

The coalition made up of Senate Republicans and the 5-member Independent Democratic Conference currently controls the Senate and Republicans have recieved plenty of cash from the National Rifle Association and have traditionally opposed stronger gun legislation.

The IDC has backed some measures like microstamping but a spokesman would not go into details with the Gazette about legislation they might support in the future. Gun legislation could be a wedge issue for Republicans and the IDC.

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While other legislators are crossing their fingers that they will return to Albany sometime this year to vote themselves a pay raise, Democratic state Sen. Daniel Squadron wants them back in their seats for an entirely different reason.

This morning Squadron and a number of Senate and Assembly Democrats as well as advocates and community members gathered at site of the recent shooting at Campos Plaza to call for a special session to address gun violence by passing a package of bills.

"Before one more innocent life is lost, it's time for the legislature to pass these critical bills,” Squadron said. “From the crime-solving tool of microstamping to my bill to crack down on assault weapons, these common sense measures would be a big step toward protecting New York's families. Yet again and again the gun lobby keeps these guns on our streets and our communities at risk — and we too often see the consequences right here at home."

Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence praised the idea in a statement:

We cannot continue to allow our children to die in playgrounds and mothers to die on the street. For too long important legislation has been forced to the back burner. Now is the time to pass common sense measures to help protect families and communities in New York.

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