Cuomo on gun violence: 'It has been enough'
January 9th, 2013
04:06 PM ET
1 year ago

Cuomo on gun violence: 'It has been enough'

(CNN) – Ban assault weapons. It's a call that's been trumpeted on the airwaves, in protests and in some TV ads.

But now it's coming from a high-profile governor, signaling what could be a major move in the renewed push for tighter gun laws after the Connecticut elementary school shooting last month–a massacre that capped a year marked by other high-profile shootings.

Speaking to a crowd of elected officials, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday the state must enact "the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation, period."

"Gun violence has been on a rampage as we know first hand and we know painfully. We must stop the madness, my friends," he said in his annual State of the State address. "It has been enough."

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks New York as fourth in its list of states with the strongest gun laws, and the Empire State already has a ban on some types of assault weapons. But the Democratic governor, whose job approval ratings top 70%, argued more needs to be done.

His other proposals included closing a loophole that allows gun purchasers to sidestep background checks during a private transaction. Cuomo also wants to ban high capacity magazines, devices with 10 or more rounds of ammunition that can be attached to guns.

He urged the audience, which included state lawmakers and members of law enforcement, to enact "tougher penalties" for illegal gun use and pushed for stricter regulation on the sale of ammunition.

Cuomo stressed a need to "keep guns from people who are mentally ill."

"We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured," he said.

Cuomo, who's considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate, took heat from gun rights groups when he said in a December radio interview that "confiscation could be an option" in terms of reducing the number of assault weapons in New York. He has not made similar remarks since.

Opponents, however, were quick to pounce, arguing that Cuomo's radio comment represents the future of Second Amendment rights if gun owners don't fight to keep laws as they stand. Other critics argue that violence tends to increase in places that have tighter gun restrictions. The National Rifle Association, for example, says the solution to school shootings entails equipping every school in the country with an armed guard.

A petition to the White House asks "that Gov. Cuomo's attempts to violate our rights be stopped immediately." With more than 8,000 signatures, the White House requires at least 25,000 before it issues a response.

Cuomo, however, said "this is not (about) taking away peoples' guns."

"I own a gun. I own a Remington shotgun," he continued. "That's not what this is about. It's about ending the unnecessary risk of high capacity assault rifles."

Cuomo's comments come during a week of big-name efforts involving gun regulations. Vice President Joe Biden is holding meetings–including a sit-down with the NRA–at the White House to find recommendations for the president. And former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head two years ago this week, and her husband Mark Kelly launched a website Tuesday aimed at finding solutions.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate for gun control, said in a statement after Cuomo's remarks that he "was particularly struck by [Cuomo's] passionate leadership on gun violence.

"New York State has led the nation with strong, common-sense gun laws, and the governor's new proposals will build on that tradition," Bloomberg wrote. "They will help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people and save lives. We strongly support his proposals to close loopholes and strengthen existing laws, and we look forward to working with him and the state legislature to adopt them."

In his address, Cuomo cited the state's Sullivan Act, the first-in-the-nation gun control law enacted in 1911, which required a permit for the possession of a handgun.

"New York led the way then," he said. "'Let's pass safe and fair legislation and lead the way once again in saving lives."


Filed under: Andrew Cuomo • Gun rights • New York
soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Rudy says:

    "That is what the 2nd Amendment says. It is not a blanket permission for anybody and everybody to go to your local general store and outfit yourself like a special ops team member."
    -------
    The Supreme Court disagrees with your opinion, and has time and time again.

    January 10, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. True Republican

    Brett

    "Gun violence has been on a rampage": Without someone to pull the trigger, someone please tell me how a gun can be violent? Why isn't drunk driving (an ACTION) called "alcohol violence" or "vehicle violence"?

    -----------------------

    Oh yes…the old cars vs. guns argument.
    Lets look at this tired old comparison.

    To drive a car you must have a valid license, and you must renew it on a regular basis.
    To get your drivers license, you have to pass (depending on state laws) certain medical test. At least an eye test in all states. To put a car on the road, you have to register it. It has to be inspected for safety. And you have to insure it. If you sell your car in a private sale, you have to transfer ownership and report the transfer to state officials. The auto industry works hand and hand with our government to make auto travel safer. Seat belts, air bags, safety testing and regulations. ..We have many traffic laws and continue to improve and add traffic laws to make travel safer. Automobiles are classified into different categories. You need a different license to operate a tractor-trailer then you do for a passenger car.

    Mean while the gun industry and the NRA do everything they can to stop these same sensible regulations to apply for firearms.

    January 10, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. ja

    no law abiding citizen new the guns such as the AR15, join the armed forces, a swat team , alqeuada, or the taliban,

    January 10, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Anonymous

    "Unfortunately, reading the NRA robot responses here, some of these rubes actually think the 2nd Amendment is their ticket to the same hardware the military has. Sick and twisted."

    There is nothing more sick and twisted than a group of individuals so paranoid that they can't live without their assault weapon boy-toys. Reading the NRA robot responses here, some of these rubes actually think they now need assault weapons to protect themselves from the very same toys they have been duped into thinking are a necessary means of protecting themselves from their own self-made paranoia. Too many shoot – em – up television programs where the good guy never misses and the bad guy can't hit a target – standing, sitting, or otherwise. Definitely not enough real life death situations to bring the blood and gory home mentally. No doubt most these Rambo's couldn't hit the broadside of a barn let alone a moving target shooting back at them. They still insist on being given the chance to publicly protect themselves, while taking out you, me, and every other innocent bystander in the process.

    January 10, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Laurie in Spokane

    I'm all for the right to bear arms as outlined in the 2nd. amendment to the Constitution. However, do you seriously really TRULY believe the writers of the Constitution meant that to include assault rifles or arms that can shoot multiple rounds per second? Of course not – they didn't exist then. The Constitution is open to interpretation – it's done all the time by the Supreme Court. So, we interpret the 2nd. amendment to not include assault rifles, or ammo clips with more than 10 rounds, or weapons of mass destruction (which assuault arms are). This is not taking away the right to bear arms, just putting some sanity into it.

    January 10, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Matt

    @ Rudy NYC

    Funny how liberals can only "prove a point" by removing actual text. You're correct: writing the statement that way means that forming a militia cannot be infringed.

    If you knew how to read you would see that I already stated that. The second part about individuals having the right to keep and bear arms. So, yes, it is a blanket statement that I can buy what I want, when I want. That's why it is LEGAL to own fully automatic weapons, Gatling guns, flame throwers and hand grenades.

    January 10, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. True Republican

    @Matt

    What a wonderful platitude you have: balanced, common sense gun laws. You cannot define that for the life of you.
    -----------------------------
    umm, actually sure I can.
    Start with the same regulations we have with automobiles.

    You must have a valid license that expires after a period of time and needs to be renewed.
    Like autos, you need different types of licenses depending on the firearm you want to own.
    You need to pass certain medical exams to obtain your license
    You are require to insure your firearm
    Clips of more than 10 rounds would be banned or require a different type of license
    Re-enact the assault weapons ban
    Back ground checks are required for all firearm sales
    Private sales of firearms require the reporting of the “title” to state officials
    Stricter penalties and punishment for any crimes committed with a gun

    I own three hunting rifles and I wouldn’t object to any of these.
    So as a responsible gun owner…why would you be opposed to any of these?

    January 10, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. sean

    Sniffit

    "and you cant call them "assualt rifles" because by deffiniton an assualt weapon needs to be select fire"

    Yammer yammer derp derp. The AR-15 is essentially the M-16 and the .223 caliber round was invented because the armed forces demanded a round that could pierce a combat helmet at a couple hundred yards and would maximize damage by failing to leave a clean hole/exit wound. Larger rounds were leaving clean holes from entry to exit and those are far easier to treat and survive than a smaller round that may not even exit the body, but instead is redirected by body tissue upon and after entry, "bouncing" around and maximizing internal tissue damage and bleeding. The mafia used 22s as execution weapons for just that reason: it stays in the skull and scrambles the brain instead of just hitting with such force it pops out the other side...sometimes with the bullets even fragmenting after impact with the skull (some even designed specifically to do so). Had Loughner used one instead of a Glock 9, Giffords wouldn't be here. So don't come at us spewing nonsense about what "really" qualifies as an "assault" weapon. These weapons, and particularly the rounds they are designed to use, are not made simply for "self defense" and "stopping power." They are designed specifically for "wounding power," to maximize the human death they are able to cause and to minimize the survivability of suffering a wound from them.

    -----------–

    WOW – obviously you do no know why the military adopted that weapon and cailiber.... if you want the real facts – it is beacause during the late korean and vietnam war the soldier had the M14 – using the .308/7.62x51mm – compated to the 5.56/.223 it is a big bulky and heavy round – and the more ammo the soldiers had the heavy it was. the military wanted a lighter weapon (not as heavy as the M14 thus the M16) and the smaller ammo was lighter and allowed the soldier to carry more ammo. that is why that was adopted – not to peirce hemats at a couple hundred yards . if you want ballistics here you go – at 300 yards the standard 5.56 556 ft-lbs energy – 7.62 1860 ft-lbs energy... hmmm wich one would peirce something better.... yea sorry your theory is flawed – do some research before you say things.
    and i can say they are not assualt weapons becase they are not – other "auto loading" are chamberd in the same caliber and are they assualt weapons too? come on get off it -

    January 10, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. GOP is for the rich

    Put an armed guard in every school? Let's see.....an armed guard in every school would cost possibly billions.....a law restricting assault weapons would cost...nothing! So much for the 'deficit hawks'!

    January 10, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Larry L

    @Fair is Fair

    Rudy says:

    "That is what the 2nd Amendment says. It is not a blanket permission for anybody and everybody to go to your local general store and outfit yourself like a special ops team member."
    ---
    The Supreme Court disagrees with your opinion, and has time and time again.
    ===============================================================================================
    So if a law-abiding citizen wants to purchase a drone armed with 500 pound bombs you're okay with that? How about IEDs? Claymore mines? Those are "arms" and represent the type of weaponry military forces might use.

    The US Supreme Court has not defined what weapons are allowed and has not set the limits for ownership of weapons. Isn't it simply common sense to define those things?

    January 10, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. bignevermo

    Fair is Fair...the SCOTUS actually does allow restrictions on firearms...and it even allowed the "assault weapons" ban. So you are incorrect...what the SCOTUS will not do is ban guns outright. They declared a handgun ban in DC in 2008...so no outright bans for all guns...but bans on some types of guns! :)

    January 10, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Anonymous

    "They still insist on being given the chance to publicly protect themselves, while taking out you, me, and every other innocent bystander in the process."

    Remember the Empire State shooting? How many people were shot? Who were they shot by?

    Oh, that's right... the POLICE. The same police that you are all arguing should still have magazines capable of holding more than 10 round and access to modern sporting rifles.

    So, my question to you is: If it is OK for the police to have access to these, when it is proven that they cannot prevent or stop incidents when in progress and in some cases cause more injuries (like they did in NYC), why can't law-abiding citizens have the same means? The SCOTUS has already ruled that the police have no compunction to actually protect you. All they do is clean up the mess and try to catch the bad actors.

    Also, for those of you who want to call me paranoid, how many people were prepared for Hurricane Sandy? How many people in Indonesia were prepared for the tsunami? Chances are that I will never have to use my personal sidearm or my modern sporting rifle for self defense. However, as we see in the news every day, there is still a chance that I may have to. While I hope I never have to, I will be dang sure that I am prepared if I do need to.

    January 10, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. SaneGunOwner

    "They still insist on being given the chance to publicly protect themselves, while taking out you, me, and every other innocent bystander in the process."

    Remember the Empire State shooting? How many people were shot? Who were they shot by?

    Oh, that's right... the POLICE. The same police that you are all arguing should still have magazines capable of holding more than 10 round and access to modern sporting rifles.

    So, my question to you is: If it is OK for the police to have access to these, when it is proven that they cannot prevent or stop incidents when in progress and in some cases cause more injuries (like they did in NYC), why can't law-abiding citizens have the same means? The SCOTUS has already ruled that the police have no compunction to actually protect you. All they do is clean up the mess and try to catch the bad actors.

    Also, for those of you who want to call me paranoid, how many people were prepared for Hurricane Sandy? How many people in Indonesia were prepared for the tsunami? Chances are that I will never have to use my personal sidearm or my modern sporting rifle for self defense. However, as we see in the news every day, there is still a chance that I may have to. While I hope I never have to, I will be dang sure that I am prepared if I do need to.

    January 10, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. NRA is the best protector of the USA

    From what I am seeing if someone owns a gun then they are in the wrong, they are bad, they are evil, there is no reason to whatever type gun, etc. Drunk drivers kill more people in this country every year than guns. So if you drink alcohol of any kind and own a vehicle then you should give up your vehicle. Not that you have ever broken a law or done anything wrong, but you drink alcohol and own a vehicle so you are a bad person.

    January 10, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. yolanda

    It would all be much easier if you needed a license to have babies......many of the culprits would never have been born.

    January 10, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Sheila

    @Laurie in Spokane – the N.R.A doesn't believe in "sanity" My husband has Hunting rifles & shotguns, probably any of them hasn't been shot since he used to hunt small game such as squirrel & rabbit, and Deer, way back in the 1970's. But they are under lock & key, unlike that mother who just let her son get them – by practically handing that weapon to her son, since it wasn't under lock & key.

    January 10, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. sean

    @ larry l

    as a law abiding gun owner i agree that citizens should not own explosive ordinance. that is commen sence – i dont think that citizens should own full auto/burst or anything other than semi-auto – that is for military and police – for a civilan to get a class 3 license anyway is tough – i dont agree with it but they are thoroughly vetted by the athoraties.
    not to mention it cost some money to attain...

    January 10, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  18. Samuel Adams

    Tell the lady who unloaded 6 rounds, with 5 hitting the home invader who got up and left, drove his car and was later captured by the police, that she doesn't need the ability to have more than 10 rounds in a clip. What if there had been more than one intruder, she would have had a real problem. This whole gun control issue is just a smoke screen. It's the human heart that is the problem and that is something no laws will change. By the way, the term assault rifle is a bogus name too. The AR-15 shoots a .223 round, which is a lot smaller than say a 45 or 357. It was designed to be lighter so the soldiers could carry more ammo but also it was designed with a smaller caliber to wound the enemy because it takes more assets to care for the wounded versus the dead. If people would take the emotions out of this issue and use a little common sense....well, I can see that wont happen.

    January 10, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    @ Larry L -

    "So if a law-abiding citizen wants to purchase a drone armed with 500 pound bombs you're okay with that? How about IEDs? Claymore mines? Those are "arms" and represent the type of weaponry military forces might use."
    -----–
    Come on, Larry, stop with the hyperbole. Your counter arguement is inane. You're better than this.

    January 10, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Anonymous

    "That's why it is LEGAL to own fully automatic weapons, Gatling guns, flame throwers and hand grenades."

    The question remains why you feel the need to own fully automatic weapons, Gatling guns, flame throwers and hand grenades. As impressive as these weapons sound on paper, weapons such as these are nothing more than specially made toys for reality challenged little boys and girls who have been programmed to feel so frightened of their own tin hat paranoia that they can no longer see the forest through the trees. Or in many instances, they can no longer see the stars through the government invading intergalactic space aliens (or something).

    January 10, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    rs

    How sick are Republicans?

    In Arizona, their members are trying to pass guns' rights bills. Not rights for the gun owner, oh, no, rights for the GUN. They are trying to halt gun buy-back programs that result in the destruction of the firearm claiming that all "state" property must be sold to the highest bidder.

    Q: When has anything someone has said directly resulted in death?
    -----------
    That's crazy. The usually funds come from private donations. Using their own argument the state does not even own them. They're just the caretakers seeing to it that they are destroyed.

    People have been killed when someone yells "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. It is illegal to do that. It is a common sense restriction on the 1st Amendment. We need to use our common sense on the 2nd,

    January 10, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. GOP is for the rich

    No problem with using guns to hunt. What do you hunt with assault weapons?.....answer: People!

    January 10, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Matt

    @Larry L

    If I want to buy a drone or Claymore mine (IED is a concept that can be made at home) who the heck is going to sell me one? For every market demand there must be a supplier. I can guarantee any drone manufacturer will not sell to me.

    Furthermore, what gun-ignoramuses like yourself do not understand is that if I have to shoot a rapist who broke into my home and hit him with 4 out of the 5 bullets I fire, I am responsible for where that 5th goes. If it damages someone's property or hurts them, I have to pay for that. That is already established law.

    It's about property rights. If you own 40 acres in the middle of Montana and throw hand grenades around, great. You are only tearing up your own yard. But if you buy a drone with a 500 lb bomb (again, who will sell you one?), where are you going to have it fire? You stand a good chance at destroying someone else's property. Same with a nuclear device – you cannot set one off without causing massive property and environmental damage thereby affecting others.

    So before you come to this forum with your undereducated, playground logic do some basic research on the fundamentals of how markets, commerce and property rights function.

    January 10, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. dreamer96

    The NRA says the answer is more guns, not gun control...hmm

    Armed guards at our schools is a band aid for a bigger problem...The school guards are not everywhere people are, children are..If we use guards at the school...what about the playgrounds, the parks, the hospitals, the malls, the concert halls, the restaurants, the passenger ships, the trains, subways..The problem is we have to put armed guards everywhere..or we need better gun control...

    January 10, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    @ Larry L -

    "So if a law-abiding citizen wants to purchase a drone armed with 500 pound bombs you're okay with that? How about IEDs? Claymore mines? Those are "arms" and represent the type of weaponry military forces might use."
    -––
    Come on, Larry, stop with the hyperbole. Your counter arguement is inane. You're better than this.
    ********************************
    He's better than you, but then, you set the bar pretty low with your impassioned defense of the Mormon aristocrat for almost 2 years.

    January 10, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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