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Gun Control Bill Moves Through State Legislature

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TWC News: Gun Control Bill Moves Through State Legislature
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A comprehensive, 78-page gun control package was approved by the State Senate late Monday, and its passage by the full Legislature will make it the first in the nation since the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The State Senate passed the bill late Monday after Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a "message of necessity'' that suspends the three days of public review that bills are supposed to have under the state constitution.

The state Assembly is expected to vote on the measure Tuesday, and the governor will then sign the bill into law.

The bill includes a ban of online sales of assault weapons, would establish a police registry of assault weapons and make the unsafe storage of assault weapons a misdemeanor.

Magazines and clips would be limited to seven rounds, down from the current 10 rounds.

Stolen guns would have to be reported within 24 hours, or the owner would be charged with a misdemeanor.

All private sales of guns would also need background checks and there would be stronger penalties for bringing guns onto school property.

Shooting first responders would be punished by life in prison without parole. This is in response to a shooting in Webster, N.Y. last month that left two firefighters dead.

It would also require therapists to report to mental health officials when their patients make credible threats, and in turn serious threats would be reported to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. The patient making the threat would then lose his or her weapons.

"I think after what happened in Connecticut and what happened here at home in Webster, this issue jumps to the forefront," Cuomo said late Monday. "I think people in the state said we want something done and we want something done now. And look, if government's job is to respond to people's needs at the time, and the people of the state are now crying out for help on the issue of gun violence. And I believe this does that."

Cuomo has been pushing to make New York the strictest in the nation when it comes to gun control.

The deal came exactly one month after a Connecticut gunman killed 20 children and six adults inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Bloomberg Pushes For Federal Gun Bills In Baltimore Speech

Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg once again urged Congress to come up with what he called common sense solutions to gun violence.

During a speech at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the mayor said there needs to be universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and gun trafficking should be made a federal crime.

Bloomberg's group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, released a report entitled "Access Denied" which claims Congress has bowed to gun lobbyists.

It also says lawmakers are keeping Americans in the dark when it comes to information about guns and gun violence.

Bloomberg said Washington lawmakers should put people before politics.

"Enough is enough. It's time for Congress and the White House to put public health above special interest politics," the mayor said. "And it's time for Congress to stop gagging our scientists, military leaders and law enforcement officers and stop trying to hide the truth from the American people."

Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a TV ad featuring family members of those lost due to gun violence.

The group says 33 people a day are killed in the United States by guns.

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