12:02 pm Dec. 20, 2012
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today he has no immediate plans to call an emergency special session to pass gun control legislation.
"The only thing that's going to happen in the next few days is Christmas," Cuomo told Fred Dicker on his radio show this morning.
Rumors around the Capitol had it that the governor might summon the legislature to take emergency action, in the wake of the mass shooting in Connecticut last week, but Cuomo said he "highly doubted" a special session would happen, and that he plans to address the issue when the legislature convenes next month.
He said he will put forward a proposal to address gun violence, and that the focus is likely to be on assault weapons.
"I don't think legitimate sportsmen are going to say I need an assault weapon to go hunting," he said.
Dicker, who was openly skeptical about the efficacy of any additional gun laws, asked Cuomo if he was concerned that could adversely affect Bushmaster, the company that manufactured the assault rifle used in Connecticut, which has a production facility upstate.
"I understand the economics of the gun industry," he said. "I also understand life and death. And nobody is going to say, we're going to justify an intolerable situation because of economics."
Cuomo floated the idea of confiscation or possibly a mandatory buy-back program, or heightened permitting, but re-stated his belief that "the real answer here is federal."
"You need federal action but I also think states can make a difference," he said, adding that the states should "close loopholes in their own laws."
The governor also revealed he's a gun owner.
"As you know, I have a gun, a shotgun," he said.
According to a knowledgeable source, the governor purchased it while he was serving as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the 1990s, and has used it for hunting, but not since he became governor. He keeps it in a locked case with a trigger lock, the source said.