10:17 am Mar. 22, 20134
After the Newtown massacre, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is interested in running for president in 2016, moved quickly to make New York State the first in the nation to pass tighter gun control laws.
He did so using what's known as a message of necessity, which allowed him to bypass the normal three-day waiting period that's required before the legislature can vote on a measure.
The N.R.A. called the governor's use of the message of necessity "outrageous and undemocratic."
Which was to be expected.
But other people have questioned the process who are decidedly not lobbyists for the gun industry, including, now, Michael Bloomberg, a strong supporter of gun control who indicated today that he found such criticism of the process understandable.
"There is the argument, and it's a legitimate one, that if they had taken a few more days to read and let some people who might have other information, at least, even if not other ideas, give some input, they could have fixed some of this stuff," said the mayor, during his regular Friday morning appearance on the John Gambling radio show. "And they would say, 'Look, pass the bill. You can come back and fix it. It may look embarassing in the paper but so what.' And there's something to be said for that. I guess I might have tried to take a few more days, but I certainly shouldn't second-guess the governor."
He returned to the topic a few minutes later, following a discussion about a City Council proposal to create an inspector general for the NYPD, a proposal he abhors. "This is true with a lot of things," he said. "You asked before about the [gun] magazines in Albany. We've just gotta start thinking a little bit more about the implications of things before we rush to legislate."
Bloomberg was referring to numerous technical problems with the bill that needed to be addressed after it was already passed.
The gun-control law, approved in January, banned the sale of magazines that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition. But, Mr. Cuomo said Wednesday, seven-round magazines are not widely manufactured. And, although the new gun law provided an exemption for the use of 10-round magazines at firing ranges and competitions, it did not provide a legal way for gun owners to purchase such magazines.
As a result, he said, he and legislative leaders were negotiating language that would continue to allow the sale of magazines holding up to 10 rounds, but still forbid New Yorkers from loading more than 7 rounds into those magazines.
“There is no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t exist. So you really have no practical option.”
Yesterday, the National Rifle Association joined a suit to block the new laws.
In a press release accompanying a copy of the complaint, the N.R.A.'s Institute for Legislative Action director, Chris Cox, said, “Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature usurped the legislative and democratic process in passing these extreme anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input. This obvious disrespect for New Yorkers and their Second Amendment rights will not be tolerated.”