Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that all options, including confiscation and “mandatory sales to the state,” would be on the table next month when the New York State Legislature debates new gun control measures. The comments were specifically aimed at what might happen should stricter rules be imposed on “assault” weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The governor said he plans on proposing a package of gun legislation in his State of the State address on Jan. 9.
“There’s a big difference of opinion on these issues,” Gov. Cuomo said today during a radio interview with Albany’s WGDJ-AM.
Mr. Cuomo explained that because gun control hasn’t been a recent topic of discussion in the capital, he has chosen to reach out to lawmakers to see where they stand on the issue before he submits his final proposal.
The governor also explained that he would focus his attention on changing state laws regarding the possession of what the media confusingly calls “assault weapons” (“there’s no real definition of the term,” the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney notes) and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
New York’s existing ban on those items has “more holes than Swiss cheese,” said the governor.
“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’” he said.
However, he was also careful to note that he owns and regularly hunts with a shotgun, saying, “There is a balance here — I understand the rights of gun owners; I understand the rights of hunters.”
He also noted that some “assault” weapons bans have in the past been “cosmetic.”
During the course of the interview, Gov. Cuomo didn’t outline any specific gun control measures, but he did say the following: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
He also dismissed rumors that lawmakers would be called back to Albany next week for a emergency session dedicated to the subject of gun control.
“The only thing that’s going to happen in the next few days is Christmas,” he said.
Although the Democrat-controlled New York Assembly has in the past voted for several gun control measures, these bills were all DOA once they made their way to the Republican-controlled Senate.
However, starting next month, the Senate will be run by a combination of Republicans and what the New York Times refers to as “a breakaway faction of Democrats.”
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Featured image courtesy Getty Images. This post has been updated.