Cuomo touts NY as model on gun control, urges 2020 hopefuls to sign pledge

Posted: Updated:

Associated Press

ALBANY (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering up New York as an example of how the nation could address mass shootings and gun violence.

The Democrat urged his party's presidential candidates to sign on to what he's calling the "Make America Safer" pledge.

Six years ago, Cuomo pushed through one of the nation's toughest gun-control laws - known as the SAFE Act - in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.

Now, following the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Cuomo says the nation should follow New York's lead. The SAFE Act expanded a ban on military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthened background checks and required mental health professionals to report patients who shouldn't be allowed to possess firearms.

Cuomo's pledge supports similar ideas as the federal level.

"If you can't support those four things, I don't believe you should be running for president as a Democrat," Cuomo said on CNN Wednesday. "Make it simple. Make it true. Four points - the Make America Safer Pledge. Period."

Cuomo's pledge has yet to get the attention of the candidates, who have their own proposals for gun control.

New York's rules remain deeply unpopular with many gun owners and gun rights advocates. Last month, when Cuomo signed an expanded waiting period into law, gun rights supporters said it was another unnecessary law that won't save lives.

"This is something that the governor and the politicians are saying will make you safer," said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. That's hogwash."

The law extended the waiting period for regulated gun purchases from three to 30 days when the instant background check returns inconclusive results.

Other changes to guns laws that lawmakers and Cuomo approved this year include a "red flag" law that permits judges to order the removal guns from the homes of students when teachers or school administrators conclude they are a danger to themselves or others.

Lawmakers also voted to ban 3D-printed guns, which are invisible to metal detectors.

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