Post-Empire State shooting, A.G. Schneiderman calls for new gun control laws

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a statement in response to the shooting outside the Empire State Building this morning, offering thoughts and prayers to the victims, and reiterating the need for legislative action to protect the public from gun violence.

“For those of us in government, and in law enforcement, the news of yet another mass shooting so close on the heels of the massacres at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and in Aurora, Colorado, should make it crystal clear that our current laws have failed to protect the public from gun violence," Schneiderman said in the statement. "We must redouble our efforts to protect public safety so that New Yorkers don’t have to live in fear of the next deadly attack.”

Schneiderman was one of the more aggressive advocates for gun control legislation when he was in the State Senate, including a push to pass microstamping legislation, which would mandate that certain firearms brand discharged rounds with unique identifying information.

That legislation was in the news again this morning, even prior to the shooting, on account of a New York Times article that focused on the legislation's potential impact on Remington Arms, the historic gun manufacturer located in Ilion, New York.

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that possibility shouldn't take precedence over safety on in his Friday morning radio show, which took place just before the shooting.

At his press conference after the shooting, the mayor did not specifically mention his efforts against illegal guns, except to say, in closing, "and once again, there's an awful lot of guns out there."

The shooting this morning could increase calls for gun legislation in Albany, where Democrats in the State Senate are pushing a package of legislation to strengthen gun laws, in the face of resistance from Senate Republicans.

In a statement, State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens, who has sponsored the legislation, said, “My prayers go out for the victims of this morning’s horrific incident caused by yet another act of senseless gun violence. It is long past time to fix our gun laws to prevent future tragedies from occurring. To the victims’ families, stay strong and know our hearts are with you.”

Democrats are hoping to make gun control an issue in some contested races, including against Republican Marty Golden in Brooklyn.

Golden, in turn, has urged the Democratic-held Assembly to pass tougher laws on criminals who use guns.