The Daily Gazette
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Gun control could be a priority in 2013 legislative session

A gun reform proposal will likely be a priority of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the 2013 legislative session.

Speaking on Talk 1300 this morning, the governor said he plans to talk with legislative leaders soon about new gun control laws that could be rolled out at his State of the State address as part of a comprehensive package.

Cuomo said he doesn't currently know where the legislative leaders stand on these issues, which has been thrust back into the political debate after the shooting massacre in a Connecticut elementary school.

Talks are not likely to begin until 2013. The governor shot down reports that a special session might be called before the end of the year. "The only thing that's going to happen in the next few days is Christmas," he said.

As to the Senate Republicans, who will be in power in 2013 and have traditionally balked at additional gun control laws, Cuomo claimed he wasn't sure where they stand now.

Following a shooting in a movie theater in Colorado last summer, when talk of more gun control laws in New York kicked up, state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, said "I do not see the Republican Senate moving forward with any additional gun control laws."

The senator acknowledged that he is particularly sensitive to preventing additional gun restrictions because it is a jobs issue in his district.

In his radio interview, Cuomo rejected this economic concern, saying. "I also understand life and death."

The governor is not insensitive to the rights of gun owners. He noted that he owns a shotgun.

Senate Democrats this morning, through new leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, announced that they were ready to take up the cause of gun control.

"We stand ready to offer our support," Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. "The time has come to not only have this conversation, but to act in the best interests of our constituents, and our children."

The Assembly Democrats, who have an overwhelming majority, are expected to go along with any new gun control proposals.

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