The state Legislature could vote on a comprehensive gun-control bill as soon as today, leaders said Monday.
The bill would eliminate loopholes in the state’s existing assault-weapons ban, limit clips to seven bullets, heighten penalties for those who use guns in a crime and expand Kendra’s Law.
“I’m very confident that we will vote on a comprehensive bill—a bill that’s going to be agreed on by the governor, the Assembly and the Senate—today,” Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, said Monday.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said: “We’re hopeful if we can come to that final agreement that it will be voted on today.”
Silver said the Legislature is “very, very close to a final agreement on the bill.”
According to Silver, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated he will issue a message of necessity to push the bill forward without the otherwise required three-day aging period.
“I think the message out there is so clear after Newtown to get us down this road as quickly as possible,” Silver said, “to basically eradicate assault weapons from our streets in New York as quickly as possible. It’s something that people of this state want, and it’s an important thing to do. It is an emergency.”
The speaker said one of the remaining sticking points in the negotiation was a question of how security will be provided to schools and how that security will be funded.
“The clear thing is we are going to ban assault weapons,” Silver said. “We are going to eliminate all of the loopholes that existed previously.”
Silver said he is “not worried” that Senate Republicans will try to block the legislation.
“I believe that they are level-headed people who have seen what happened in Webster, what happened in Newtown and what continues to happen,” Silver said. “And a solution is: Get those assault weapons off the street.”
Klein, whose conference share control of the state Senate with Republicans, said the combination of an assault-weapons ban and stricter penalties demonstrates the bill was crafted using bipartisanship.
“I think that, when all is said and done, we’re going to pass a comprehensive gun bill today,” he said. “And I think it’s important, and I think this is an issue that shows we can work together – Democrats and Republicans.”
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