“No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer and too many innocent people have died already. End the madness, now!”—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Last week, one month after the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders and six adults in a school in Newtown, Conn., New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation. Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, the New York SAFE Act strengthens the state’s assault weapons ban, reduces gun magazine capacity from 10 to seven bullets, increases penalties for purchasing illegal guns and using guns on school grounds, mandates universal background checks, and takes guns out of the hands of mental health patients deemed likely to commit violent acts.
Two days later at the White House, President Obama unveiled the most sweeping federal gun control proposals in a generation. In addition to calling on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban and close background check loopholes, the President signed 23 executive actions to immediately strengthen background checks, make schools safer, increase access to mental health services and reduce gun violence. We applaud the actions of Gov. Cuomo and President Obama to finally address the plague of senseless gun violence and we are encouraged by their commitment to increase resources for mental health counseling and programs that help create safer communities.