A bill that would restrict gun possession for those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others will improve the SAFE Act, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature gun control law, he told reporters in New York City on Thursday.
The Legislature could vote as early as next week on a package of new gun control measures.
Cuomo is seeking the so-called red flag legislation as well as a ban on bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to mimic automatic fire, as well as a bill that would extend the waiting period to buy a firearm from three days to 10.
“We have proven that gun safety laws are needed and I think we have also proven that gun safety laws exist without the fear of the slippery slope,” Cuomo said. “Well, they’re trying to take away your guns. No one is trying to take away the guns from people who are mentally healthy.”
The bills are likely to pass given the large Democratic majorities in both the state Senate and the Assembly. Lawmakers last year under Republican control passed the first significant gun control bill since the 2013 passage of the SAFE Act, a measure that restricted gun possession for those who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.
“I think the red flag bill adds improvements to the SAFE Act,” Cuomo said, adding, “People who should not have a gun because they cannot get through a background check, they shouldn’t have a gun.”
Supporters of gun rights like Tom King of the New York State Rifle And Pistol Association say the measures won't have the intended effect of preventing gun violence or mass shootings.
"Unfortunately it's not going to fix anything and when people wake up the day after this legislation passes, it's going to be like the day it was before. You're not going to be any safer in New York state," King said.
He continued, "When we have the Republicans in the Senate, they were reasonable and listened to some common sense ideas, which so far have just fallen on deaf ears."