Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has just passed into law (in the words of the Associated Press) “the nation’s toughest gun restrictions” since the deadly massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School:
Jumping out ahead of Washington, New York state enacted the nation's toughest gun restrictions Tuesday and the first since the Connecticut school massacre, including an expanded assault-weapon ban and background checks for buying ammunition.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law less than an hour after it won final passage in the Legislature, with supporters hailing it as a model for the nation and gun-rights activists condemning it as a knee-jerk piece of legislation that won't make anyone safer and is too extreme to win support in the rest of the country.
"Common sense can win," Cuomo said. "You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and with reason and with common sense."
Owners of an estimated 1 million previously legal semiautomatic rifles, such as the Bushmaster model used to kill 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., a month ago, will be allowed to keep their weapons but will have a year to register them with police. The sale of any more such weapons is prohibited.
"When there's a pileup of events, when the federal government does not do it, the state of New York has to lead the way," said state Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, a Brooklyn Democrat and co-sponsor.
President Obama will unveil a sweeping set of gun-control proposals at midday Wednesday, including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and limits on the number of bullets that ammunition clips can hold, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The announcement, which press secretary Jay Carney said is scheduled for about 11:45 a.m. at the White House, is also expected to include a slate of up to 19 executive actions that the Obama administration can take on its own to attempt to limit gun violence.
The White House has invited key lawmakers as well as gun-control advocates to appear at Wednesday’s policy rollout, according to two officials who have been invited to the event.
Joining Obama and Vice President Biden for the announcement will be children from across the country who wrote Obama letters after last month’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Carney said.
In typical fashion, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is taking the president’s soon-to-be-released “executive actions” very seriously. How? By accusing him of acting like a “king” -- and vowing to expose his monarchical tendencies in the upper chamber, or something:
Saying President Barack Obama is acting like a "king" by threatening to take executive action on gun laws, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul cautioned the president to be ready for a fight on Capitol Hill.
"I'm against having a king," he said Tuesday in an interview in Jerusalem with the Christian Broadcasting Network. "I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress - that's someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch."
Stay tuned. Wednesday's going to get interesting.