ALBANY – With a deal possibly coming together in Washington to expand background checks for gun purchases, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday blasted the compromise federal package as watered down and far less comprehensive than what New York passed three months ago.
Cuomo accused Congress of fundamentally failing to act on a broader gun-control bill because of political fears of alienating “extremists” on the gun issue. “We’re not talking about a significant package of gun control anymore. We lost that in the discussions along the way, and it’s a shame,” he said.
Long gone from the table in Congress are further restrictions on assault-style weapons.
“I think it’s a damning commentary on this Congress and the extremists in this Congress,” Cuomo said in a radio interview.
He used the interview to highlight New York’s new gun-control law, which includes limits on the number of rounds in a magazine, tracking of ammunition sales, new gun registration requirements, bans on a whole range of semiautomatic weapons and requirements that mental health professionals report to county agencies patients deemed to be a threat to themselves or others so that the state can move to confiscate their weapons.
Referring to Washington, Cuomo said, “You’re seeing a government paralyzed by extremists.” He called the original gun-control package pushed by President Obama “nice” but said it had to be “recalibrated” by the president because of push-back by Congress.
Cuomo called the deal being discussed in Washington better than nothing. “But it’s only better than nothing,” he said.