Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the state’s gun-control law today as about 5,000 gun-rights activists protested at the Capitol.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Brooklyn, Cuomo said he understands that gun-control is a controversial issue. But he said the law was needed as gun violence has plagued the nation for decades, particularly over the past few months.
He said polls have shown that nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers support the law, saying the 30 percent are the vocal minority. A Siena College poll Feb. 4 showed that 65 percent of voters supported the law.
“I’m very proud that this state finally made progress with a comprehensive bill, but an intelligent bill,” Cuomo said. “I am gun owner. This is not about taking anyone’s gun. This is not about saying there is no such thing as the Second Amendment.”
Cuomo said the state isn’t out to take away the guns of lawful owners. ”
People think that government is going to come and literally take their guns away. That’s not what it’s about, but it is a reasonable approach that basically keeps guns out of the hands of criminals and people who are mentally ill. That’s what this is,” he continued.
Cuomo added, “I’m proud of the law. I’m proud of what we did. I believe it will literally save lives. I believe it’s long overdue. To the extent there’s controversy on the issue, there has been for decades, and that’s to be expected.”
Cuomo reiterated that the state may exempt film productions from the assault-weapons ban, but said it’s not really an issue because he doesn’t believe real guns with ammunition are used on set.
“A question has come up: Can you use an assault weapon in filing a movie in New York? I believe the answer is yes because there not real guns that they are using in a movie. They are fake guns with blanks,” he said.