Cuomo: Assault Weapons “Not Worth the Danger”

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today he understands people’s rights to own guns, but he said the ability to own a high-capacity assault weapon needed to be curtailed.

“What I’m saying is reasonable regulation,” Cuomo said on Fred Dicker’s radio show. “I understand the benefit of a high-capacity in a situation like self protection. On the other hand, I understand the danger of a high-capacity magazine when it falls into the wrong hands. When you weigh the danger, I say reasonable regulation. It’s not worth having the assault weapons around because they can do more harm than good.”

Cuomo said he understands there could be situations where having an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine could help a person in a safety situation. But he said the odds are that those high-capacity weapons could fall into the wrong hands and kill innocent victims.

“I think the probability is higher that if it gets in the hands of a mentally ill person or a criminal or the gun gets stolen, it can do a significant amount of damage, which is what we’ve seen,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo has been criticized for the quick passage Tuesday of the toughest gun laws in the nation. It includes a stronger ban on assault weapons and limits magazines from 10 bullets to seven bullets.

Cuomo said the lower-bullet requirement could help in an emergency situation.

“The only break is when they switch the magazine, which is only a couple of seconds anyway. But that’s the only time when that gun may be inoperable, if somebody needs to intervene,” he said.

Cuomo defended the use of a message of necessity to get the bill passed without the three-day waiting period. He said he didn’t want to give more notice so people could buy assault weapons before the ban took effect. He said he has used the messages less than his predecessors.

“Whether it was one day or three days, we’ve discussed this for years,” Cuomo said. “I believe government has been delinquent. I believe that for the legislators, there was a dereliction of duty.”

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