Silver: State should ban assault weapons, enact other gun-control laws (UPDATED)

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, predicts that his chamber will pass gun control bills this session, as it has in the past, he said at the Capitol Monday.

Silver agreed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the federal government should take action, particularly in the aftermath of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Friday.

“We should ban all types of assault weapons, all types of magazines that go with them,” he said. “We have passed a number of bills in the New York state Assembly that have died in the Senate over the years, including assault weapons bans, including microstamping of bullets so we can tell the source — the guns that they came from, including requiring child-safety locks. These are all things that will save lives.”

Silver said it was hard to predict whether gun control legislation would be successful in the Senate next session, as it will be under a different leadership structure come January. The Republicans, who currently hold a 33-29 majority, will share control with the five-member Independent Democratic Conference.

“I would tend to think the incident in Connecticut over the weekend, last week — if that isn’t impetus enough to change that outcome in the Senate, I don’t think anything else will,” Silver said.

A spokesman for Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said in a statement Monday that now is the appropriate time to be mourning the lives lost in Friday’s shooting and comforting their grief-stricken families.

He also said he would support harsher punishments for those who use guns illegally.

“If there is a law that could have prevented this unspeakable tragedy, we should find common ground and pursue it,” Scott Reif, Skelos’ spokesman, said in a statement. “In New York State, the majority of gun crimes are committed by criminals who are using illegal guns, and therefore he believes we should take steps to curb illegal gun use by increasing penalties and enacting mandatory minimum sentences.”

UPDATE: Sen. Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, leader of the IDC, said in a statement Monday that he would support a ban on assault weapons, but that gun control isn’t the only solution.

“First and foremost, we need to make sure that we’re addressing issues of not only gun control, but of mental health,” Klein said. “One of the sad lessons we’ve learned from these tragedies is that these issues are deeply intertwined.

“Here in New York, I think it’s critical that we update our assault-weapons ban so that we can better protect New York families,” he continued. “That’s where I would like to start.”

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  1. Typical Republican approach of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. What a cop-out. Guns do indeed kill people, you idiots. Take these weapons of mass murder off the street and out of people’s homes and cars. They should only be allowed in licensed facilities under certified supervision. Enough is enough of this lily-livered pandering to the gun nuts. The Second Amendment was written before automatic weapons were invented, duh. It only applies literally to single-shot weapons, not automatic and semi-automatic killing machines. Self-defense crap doesn’t cover these weapons. Hunting doesn’t apply to these weapons. They belong in shooting clubs and ranges and that’s all. Make it happen Shelly, Andy, Mike and Barack. We will support you and build a statue in your honor if you protect the children. I’m tired of living in a war zone like we’re some out of control backward nation. We’re not free if we’re afraid to go to the movies, the mall or send our kids to school. And it is NOT giving up our freedom to stop this casual approach to murder weapons. That is the mother of all red herrings.

    Enough is enough. Make it stop.

  2. Do you know anything about guns? You make hard working Americans sound and look like criminals because of a very expensive but rewarding hobby. You do not know what you are talking about. An ar15 is the most versatile sporting platform you can buy. Not just a weapon. Not even a really high power gun. most deer rifles ar 3 times more deadly. A great target rifle. Very cheep to shoot. Both of Mine have long range scopes on them. I shot 2 nice deer with them but because of the lack of power I am going to change the barrel and shot a round made by remington just for hunting deer. I pay taxes. I have worked all my life. I have earned not to treated like a criminal by people that do not know what they are talking about. Get a job take care of your kids and mind your own business..

  3. the consultant on

    no one is treating anyone like a criminal…the facts are the facts and the facts are clear
    that the US per capita has more guns than any other democratic nation in the world
    and that more people are killed as the result of guns than in any other nation in the world
    so just because your experience with an automatic weapon has been safe and satisfying
    doesn’t negate the need to control access to those weapons by others who may not be
    as responsible as some gun owners are…we regulate lots of things in this nation including
    food, cars, water, etc and we need to regulate the ability of people to get the kinds of
    weapons that serve no other purpose than to kill human beings…your point about the
    failure of the weapon to do the job you wanted to do on the deer you were shooting only
    bolsters the argument that these weapons are not for hunting animals but for hunting and
    killing people…if the recent tragedy in Newtown doesn’t convince you of the need to make
    sure that some weapons are illegal than you are missing the boat on just exactly what the
    problem is…but this time the NRA will not be able to stop legislation that makes killing
    guns of war available to the general public