Andrew Cuomo This Close to America's 'Toughest Assault Weapons Ban'

Alexander Abad-Santos
Andrew Cuomo This Close to America's 'Toughest Assault Weapons Ban'

In the wake of Sandy Hook and in advance of his State of the State address Wednesday afternoon, much was made of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's ambitious plans for gun control, from the front pages of the Drudge Report to The New York Times. When it came to the speech itself, Cuomo shied away from the big reveal, spending very little time on the firearms legislation and refusing to outline it in any detail — but behind the scenes, the New York state legislature is reportedly "within 95 percent of a deal" and could agree on wide-reaching measures by the end of the week, with a vote as soon as Monday.

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The key highlights from the Cuomo speech today were a couple lines regarding assault weapons, like this one:

Cuomo: "No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs ten bullets to kill a deer."

— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) January 9, 2013

And this promise: 

New York Gov. Cuomo presents gun-control agenda at State of State, starting with 'toughest assault weapons ban in nation'

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) January 9, 2013

But after all the buildup, local reports were noticed how little time Cuomo actually spent talking about the gun issue:

Surprised Cuomo spent so little time on guns. #nysos13

— Bill Hammond (@NYDNHammond) January 9, 2013

According to the Times, Cuomo's address spanned 78 minutes, with more time devoted to the state's plans for casinos and jokes about white-water rafting than what is amounting to a seven-point plan for what he did call the "toughest assault weapons ban" in the nation. 

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Based on multiple reports, though, the key points of Cuomo's gun deal go beyond assault weapons and may look something like this:

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  • "He is also proposing that when a mental health professional determines a person is likely to cause serious harm to someone, the person’s firearm license may be revoked and law enforcement could take the person’s weapons," reads a report from CBS.
  • Harsher penalties for illegal gun activity.
  • Follow-ups for gun owners to make sure they're still allowed to own a gun based on criminal records.
  • State checks on all ammunition purchases.
  • Banning of high-capacity magazines.
  • Banning of Internet gun purchases.

According to CBS, "Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Republican Sen. Martin Golden agreed Wednesday that closed-door talks brought all sides to within 95 percent of a deal." And according to NBC's report, we could see that deal being voted on within the next week or so: "Legislators are prepared to be called into session by Cuomo as early as Thursday if a deal is struck, though a Cuomo spokesman said he knows of no plan to call legislators into session that day. The Legislature isn't scheduled for regular session until Monday," reports NBC New York.