In response to the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he believed that upping gun regulations four years ago in New York was right and has saved lives.
Speaking to reporters during a Manhattan news conference on Tuesday, Cuomo, who in 2013 signed the sweeping New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act into law, argued the time is right to talk about gun control.
“Yeah, look, I think it is ludicrous for the White House to say now is not the time to talk about it,” said Cuomo.
“Sandy Hook was the time to talk about it. Columbine was the time to talk about it. Fort Hood was the time to talk about it.”
The Democrat, who has managed to keep the often controversial SAFE Act largely intact in the face of protests, legislative efforts from Empire State Republicans and legal challenges, went on to say a “lack of leadership” and “lack of action” has kept other gun control measures elsewhere from taking hold.
“An automatic assault rifle is an unnecessary danger because in the wrong hands it can do too much damage,” he said, pointing to the 1934 National Firearms Act that required background checks, a hefty tax, and registration of select-fire and full-auto weapons.
“This nation was smart enough to outlaw machine guns and pass a law that said one bullet per one pull of the trigger,” he said, before moving to “assault weapons,” a category of arms classified under New York law and expanded as part of the SAFE Act.
“The risk of the assault weapon falling into the wrong hands outweighs the benefit. You don’t need it to hunt. You don’t need it to target shoot,” said Cuomo.
The Governor then went on to say political fear of the National Rifle Association is why lawmakers are afraid to adopt more gun regulations.
“I know because I passed sensible gun control and I paid the price for their anger,” said Cuomo. “But you know what? It was the right thing. I believe we saved lives. I believe when they write the history books they’re gonna say New York got it right and the Congress– there was overwhelming cowardice and apathy not to take on the issues because of political reprisal in the face of total common sense.”