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Cuomo says gun control is a federal issue

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Albany/HV: Cuomo says gun control is a federal issue
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Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's spoken with Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy in the wake of Friday's deadly shooting there, offering the thoughts and prayers of all New Yorkers. But as for gun control, YNN's Nick Reisman tells us that Cuomo says new laws shouldn't come from Albany.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The deaths of 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut, including 20 children ages six and seven, all by the hand of one gunman has renewed the public debate over gun control across the country. And with that debate comes a new discussion as to whether this time, after so many shooting sprees have killed so many, whether anything will be done.

Cuomo said, “I believe on this issue you can educate people and if they understood the facts they would be supportive of reform in this measure.”

But Cuomo believes the focus should be on Washington and not Albany, where the State Senate is led by a fragile coalition of Democrats and Republicans, when it comes to gun control legislation.

“I think that it is fundamentally a federal matter because the guns easily transfer over borders. States can help and each state should look at their laws, we're looking at our laws but the most efficient, effective vehicle is a federal law,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo would not specify which gun control measures he'll push for in 2013 on the state level.

“We're going have to have a number of proposals that I'm going to make and as I said, there's a number of things that the state can do,” said Cuomo.

In 2010, then-candidate Cuomo backed a host of measures designed to curb illegal guns and proposed creating a coalition of governors to share information and work with law enforcement on illegal weapons, which did not come to fruition. Cuomo indicated Monday he is in favor of updating the state's assault weapons ban.

Cuomo said, “There's no doubt that our assault weapon ban, our assault weapon law has significant flaws and significant loopholes.”

Support for gun control won't face any opposition in the Democratic Assembly.

“These are all things that will save lives. While it's true that guns come in from out of state, if they're found here, the bans should work,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

But Senate Republicans have blocked those measures in recent years. In a statement, Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said. “If there is a law that could have prevented this unspeakable tragedy, we should find common ground and pursue it. In New York State, the majority of gun crimes are committed by criminals who are using illegal guns, and therefore he believes we should take steps to curb illegal gun use by increasing penalties and enacting mandatory minimum sentences.”

The National Rifle Association has contributed more than $250,000 to state legislative candidates in the last decade, including $21,000 this election cycle to mostly GOP candidates.

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