Lawmakers debate changes to SAFE Act
The gun control debate in New York has shifted to what changes could be made to the controversial SAFE Act. Among those changes, could be chapter amendments to clarify portions related to law enforcement. Some lawmakers are calling for more changes. YNN’s Nick Reisman has more.
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When it comes to changing January's gun control law, Albany is at something of an impasse. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he only supports technical corrections as a handful of Republicans lawmakers seek an unlikely repeal of the law.
“If there are technical corrections that we need to make, we will discuss them,” said Cuomo.
Senate Republicans are split on how far changes to the law should go. GOP Leader Dean Skelos said his conference is considering an amendment that would revisit the reduction in clip sizes from ten to seven.
“Present clips that are already legal in New York State -- I don't think there's any reason to outlaw them and we're looking at other changes,” said Dean Skelos, Senate Republican Leader.
Some in the Senate want to go further. Echoing concerns from firearm advocates, freshman Senator Kathy Marchione introduced a bill that would repeal the gun control legislation, even if it is highly unlikely to pass the chamber.
“I will continue to fight for the legislation. I can't promise anything to people, but I told them I would continue to fight and I will,” said Senator Kathy Marchione.
Skelos acknowledges that changes broader than mere technical corrections, such as clarifying the law to exempt current and retired law enforcement, may be difficult to get passed the governor.
“We also have to live within the reality of what the governor feels is appropriate or not. I believe the governor is going to be pretty firm about the seven bullets in the home and he's going to be firm on the so-called assault weapon,” said Skelos.
As for the criticism that the measure was rushed through the Legislature with little input from lawmakers, Cuomo said that's just not the case.
“That bill was worked on for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks. There were almost daily meetings by the key staff that worked on that bill for over one month,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo considers the gun control law, passed in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting in December, one of his most significant achievements as governor.