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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Martins: Proposed gun laws will have 'little effect on gun violence'"

While Democrats are promoting a possible deal on gun-control legislation, one Long Island Republican says the proposal won’t “meaningfully change the status quo” and will have “very little effect on gun violence.”

Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) raised possible objections just hours before the state Senate and Assembly is set to convene for the first day of the 2013 legislative session. Top Democrats have said a gun-control package could be voted on today, including tightening the definition of assault weapons and reducing the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines.

Martins said he hopes the state’s push to reduce gun violence won’t be “in the words of Shakespeare, ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ ”

“While I agree that we have a responsibility to review our gun laws and certainly to close any loopholes in our current definition of assault weapons, I do not believe that the proposal will meaningfully change the status quo,” Martins said. “It seems like an obvious fix on paper, but in reality, it isn’t. In fact, it will likely have very little effect on gun violence in New York, and at that point, the opportunity to effect real change will have been lost.”

Martins said ideas offered by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other top Democrats don’t sufficiently address “criminals with illegal guns.”

“And that’s where I’m disappointed with the Governor’s approach,” Martins said. “His plan offers no serious discussion about the lack of consequences for illegal gun crimes — the very ones that are the core of 80 percent of our problem. That’s the proverbial elephant in the room and yet we somehow find a way to ignore it.”

 The Republican added that "without a national gun policy, anything we do is only as effective as the least restrictive gun state."

 To read about the Newsday/Siena poll on what Long Islanders think of guns, go here and here.


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