For six hours on Tuesday, Assembly members discussed the merits of a package of gun control bills that would outlaw military-style weapons, require background checks to buy bullets, restrict ammunition magazines and seek additional registration of automatic weapons. The Assembly was expected to pass the bill, and ultimately more than two-thirds of the body supported it, but some members grumbled that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought to ram the bill through the Legislature before the White House could make an announcement about gun violence later this week.
“The only reason he’s doing this is to beat President Obama to the punch,” Republican Assemblyman David DiPietro said during debate. “The Assembly will be known as one that ran a flawed and useless bill in the dead of the night.”
Cuomo dismissed questions about the legislation’s timing during the bill signing at the Capitol on Tuesday. “We were afraid that [the bill's announcement] would cause a rush on the market,” Cuomo said. “That would have been the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. It’s about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals.”