Cuomo: Gun violence requires federal action

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Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would revisit the state's gun control laws in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, but said it was necessary above all for the federal government to act.

When asked at a press conference in Albany about one stalled state bill that would require identifiable markers to be left on shell casings so investigators could track down their owners, Cuomo said states often pass guns laws "to no avail," because guns can be transported across state lines so easily.

"The most efficient, effective vehicle is a federal law," Cuomo said.

On the federal level, Cuomo said, "certainly you have to go back to the assault-weapons ban and make it a real assault-weapons ban," covering all weapons with "no real hunting or sporting purpose."

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Cuomo also said the problem was "multi-dimensional," referring to "the violence that this society perpetrates," and the mental-health services provided for those in need.

Although he didn't include gun control among his "litmus test" agenda items for the coalition governing the New York State Senate, Cuomo left open the possibility of adding gun-related legislation to that list, possibly to be announced at his State of the State speech in January.

One reporter asked Cuomo about violent video games and their impact. Cuomo said there was "a culture of violence" and that video games have become "more intense" and "so graphic" and "so pervasive."

"That's part of it," he said.

The purpose of the press conference in the Capitol this morning was to announce the state had selected the lowest bidder to build the Tappan Zee Bridge and avoid proposed toll hikes there. Cuomo said it was remarkable to have moved so quickly on such a large project.

"Government surely can't move that quickly," Cuomo said, echoing naysayers, before saying that the deal provides "a lesson for all of us" that big projects don't have to be "strangled in red tape."

It demonstrated, he said, that "the dream of a government that is effective" can be real.

The Thruway Authority avoided toll hikes by reducing operating costs, its executive erector Thomas Madison announced. That included eliminating about $60 million in annual payments to the state police for patrolling the bridge. Madison said that cost will now shift to the state.