Spin Cycle

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A Long Island assemblywoman squared off against an upstate counterpart on CNN Friday morning over the issue of microstamping semiautomatic firearms.

On CNN's "Starting Point," Assemb. Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) said microstamping weapons — engraving gun’s firing pin with a number that would transfer to a bullet shell casing when fired — would make it easier to catch criminals.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) framed the issue as an intrusive government mandate that would drive gun manufacturers out of the state and questioned whether the technology would even work. He said that microstamping would be a “government mandate that will kill jobs right here in New York State.”

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CNN host Soledad O'Brien asked Schimel about a letter reportedly sent to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo from firearms manufacturer Remington that said the company would “reconsider its commitment to the New York market” if the state required it to begin microstamping.

Schimel said threats to leave from Remington and another manufacturer, Kimber, shouldn’t be taken at face value because at least in the case of Remington, the company is building a new factory to handle a federal contract.

“The taxpayers of the state have actually given tax breaks as well as grants to these companies to allow them to retool in the tune of millions of dollars,” Schimel said. “When they’re ready to leave I think the taxpayers will have something to say about that.”

Schimel sponsors a bill mandating microstamping. The Democrat-led Assembly has passed the measure but it’s gained no traction in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Interestingly, O’Brien gave Kolb more airtime to make his case, roughly two and half minutes, while giving Schimel one minute.

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