Dems: Cuomo pressing gun-control passage
ALBANY -- A key bloc of Senate Democrats emerged from a huddle Friday with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo saying the governor wants to pass a package of gun-control legislation this month.
During the 90-minute meeting Friday, the governor and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference pored over a "comprehensive" gun proposal "step by step," said Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx). Klein heads the Democratic splinter group that has joined with 30 Republicans to control the State Senate.
Klein declined to spell out many specifics but said his group and Cuomo agree on the principles of the gun proposals, and the urgency.
"We're on the same page that we have to do everything possible to ban assault weapons in New York, high-capacity magazines, make sure that people with serious mental health issues don't possess guns and, I think, we have to do it as soon as possible," Klein said. "We need to do it in January."
Cuomo administration officials didn't immediately comment.
The meeting, disclosed to the news media, seemed intended to up the pressure on Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Senate Republicans to act on guns. Klein said he hasn't discussed the proposals directly with Skelos, his power-sharing partner.
Staff discussions have been ongoing, Skelos aides said. Later Friday, Skelos issued a statement calling for the state to make permanent Kendra's Law, which authorizes court-ordered outpatient treatment for individuals deemed safety threats.
"Not only should this issue be a part of our discussions on gun safety, but it must be part of any three-way agreement on laws to increase public safety and prevent the kind of senseless violence and death we've seen in this past month," Skelos said, referring to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and to recent subway-pushing deaths in New York City.