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State Lawmakers Debate Change To Gun Control Law As Budget Talks Continue

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State leaders still have not nailed down a final agreement on the state budget, and the holdup appears to now involve a fight over changing part of the gun control law passed in January. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

On the first day of the legislative session, lawmakers passed the Landmark Safe Act, which made New York one of the strictest gun control states in the nation.

One of the signature pieces of that law was a limit on high-capacity magazines from ten bullets to seven. But at an impromptu news conference after a meeting of state leaders, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told reporters that they are now considering rolling that back.

"There's an inconsistency, or an apparent inconsistency that you can go to a range with 10, but you can only possess seven," Silver said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo categorically denied that any changes are being considered to the seven-bullet limit, which is arguably the signature component of the gun control law he vigorously fought for.

But the governor's office did admit that technical changes to the law are needed by April 15, which is why the discussions have taken place in the context of the state budget, which is due April 1.

Also under discussion is a change to marijuana possession laws for those targeted in stop, question and frisk operations.

"It's something that I support," said Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein. "Certainly, in New York City, you see young people time and time again having their lives destroyed by being charged with a criminal penalty for carrying very small amounts of marijuana. I hope we can accomplish that. I hope we can get it done."

Lawmakers are also negotiating a tax credit in the form of a rebate check of $350 for families.

The tax credits would not take effect until next year. They will be funded by an extension of the so-called millionaire's tax, which was set to expire next year. It generates roughly $1.9 billion in revenue per year for the state.

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