Assemblyman Philip Boyle responds to a question from a group...

Assemblyman Philip Boyle responds to a question from a group of community representatives during a candidate forum for State Senate District 4 at the Brentwood Public Library in Brentwood. (Oct. 10, 2012) Credit: Daniel Brennan

ALBANY -- A Long Island state senator who voted for the state's comprehensive gun-control law now wants to repeal it.

Sen. Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore) said Friday that the law, championed by Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as the nation's toughest, "was a mistake." The freshman senator said the bill was rushed -- the Senate acted on it just hours after it was printed -- and that it went too far in limiting assault weapons and ammunition magazines.

"Its passage lacked transparency and public input and its wording was ill-conceived and of questionable legality," Boyle said in a statement. "Lawmakers like myself might have caught these mistakes if we were given more than two hours to read the bill. A good leader admits a mistake and works to rectify it. That is what I am doing."

Eight of Long Island's nine Republican senators voted for the law; Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was absent but said he would have voted no.

Though opponents have called for repealing the law, Boyle is the first senator who voted for the measure in January to do so. His change of heart came a day after about 5,000 anti-gun-control protesters rallied at the State Capitol.

In an interview, Boyle said he "begrudgingly" voted for the gun bill on Jan. 14 because he considered a provision cracking down on illegal guns worthwhile. But upon further review, he found what he considered numerous problems with the legislation.

The Cuomo administration declined to comment on Boyle's statement.

Repeal of the law is unlikely, given that the Senate (43-18) and the Assembly (104-43) voted overwhelmingly for it. But pro-gun groups have filed notices of challenging the law in court.

Also Friday, a group of 1,200 New Yorkers forced a court review of whether the gun control measure was rushed into law in violation of the state constitution.

Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed on the bill in closed-door negotiations and put the politically dicey measure to a vote at night. That was after Cuomo issued a "message of necessity," which allows the constitutional waiting period to be suspended. The court order will require Cuomo and the legislature to prove the message of necessity was warranted. Cuomo had no comment. With AP

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