N.Y. governor signs nation's first gun-control bill since Newtown

Jan 15, 2013 - by - 0 Comments

Jan 15, 2013 CNN

New York -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo beefed up New York's gun-control laws on Tuesday by signing into law a new package of firearm and mental health regulations that mark the nation's first since last month's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Cuomo, a self-described gun owner, said the December 14 tragedy spurred lawmakers to action and called it a "common sense" measure before enacting what are widely seen as America's toughest gun laws.

"You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and common sense," he said before inking the deal in Albany.

The laws fortify New York's existing assault weapons ban, limit the number of bullets allowed in magazines and strengthen rules that govern the mentally ill, which includes a requirement to report potentially harmful behavior.

Both the GOP-controlled Senate and Democrat-dominated Assembly approved the measure by overwhelming margins just one week after Cuomo spelled out the proposals in his annual State of the State address.

The first-term Democratic governor had called for a tightening of the assault weapons ban, background checks for people who purchase guns privately and more restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

But the new measures drew ire from the nation's largest gun lobby over the speed with which the bill was passed in the new legislative session.

The National Rifle Association accused Cuomo and other state lawmakers of orchestrating "a secretive end-run around the legislative and democratic process."

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