Cuomo calls for national gun policy following aide’s shooting

Andrew Cuomo New York SAFE Act (Photo: The Albany Project)

Andrew Cuomo New York SAFE Act (Photo: The Albany Project)

Following the shooting of a top aide in his administration, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called for national gun control.

Forty-three-year-old lawyer Carey Gabay was struck in the head by a stray bullet while walking with a friend to a West Indian Day Parade celebration and remains in “very, very critical condition,” Cuomo told CNN.

“How many incidents do we have to have?” Cuomo said. “How many weeks do we have to have with the same story over and over and over about the insanity that this country is allowing to continue with violence and loss of life of innocent people because we have people who have no business having guns having guns.”

Cuomo called for politicians to step up and push for a national gun control policy “that respects the Second Amendment, allows people to have guns – bone fide hunters God bless – but if you’re mentally ill you should not have a gun. If you are a criminal, you should not have a gun. And to do that, Alisyn, you have to check everyone before they buy the gun and that’s the rub.”

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota then asked the governor if the shooting of his aide was the collateral damage of gang activity like police investigators suspect, wouldn’t that support the claims of those opposed to gun control that even in a strict state like New York criminals will get always get their hands on guns.

“Yes we have laws on the books that protect people – the guns are coming in from other states,” Cuomo said. “The only way to deal with this is a national gun policy. It does me no good if we have the right laws in place in New York, but the guns come in from New Jersey or Virginia or from Mississippi or from any state down south. We need a national gun control policy.”

Cuomo said that law abiding citizens don’t want their background to be checked, “but you can’t check the criminal unless you check everyone.”

“One state can’t do it alone and our state has demonstrated that.” Cuomo said. “I can’t pass a tougher law than we did or a smarter law than we did.”

Following the passage of the SAFE Act, New York has some of the toughest restrictions on gun ownership.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence last year gave the state an A- on its gun control policy for strengthening gun laws through closing private sale loopholes, banning “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines, preventing the mentally ill from possessing or obtaining guns, regulating ammunition sales, requiring lost or stolen guns be reported and adding safe storage laws.

Provisions of the SAFE Act have been scrutinized since the law was introduced. One case early this year involved a retired U.S. Navy veteran and retired police detective having his firearms confiscated after it was discovered he had received treatment for a sleep disorder.