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Lawmakers might strip away a key aspect of New York’s new gun-control bill this weekend as they are enacting a state budget, the Legislature’s top Democrat said Thursday.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said lawmakers could suspend a provision that outlaws sales of magazines that hold more than seven rounds. When enacted in January, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo touted the law as the toughest in the nation.
But Cuomo, a day earlier, signaled he would back down on the seven-round limit because manufacturers don’t make such magazines and, additionally, the law allows the use of 10-round clips at shooting ranges. Cuomo called it an “inconsistency” and insisted he was not rolling back the gun law — though some conservative lawmakers saw it that way.
Even if the provision is suspended, the law would still require owners — basically, relying on honor system — to load no more than seven rounds in a 10-round magazine.
Legislators expect to begin voting on the state budget Saturday and hope to conclude Sunday. Then, they go on Passover-Easter break till April 15 — the day the seven-round limit is supposed to kick in.
Some lawmakers have called for other amendments, such as exempting current and retired law-enforcement personnel from the seven-round limit. Silver suggested they would limit action this weekend to the seven-round limit because of the impending effective date.
“There might be just a suspension of April 15 dates to avoid any crisis and give us the ability to keep moving on (other gun issues),” Silver told reporters. “It became very complicated and we wanted to do the minimalist on the other stuff and give us until June to deal with a lot of those issues.”