Gov. Kathy Hochul's election campaign on Wednesday released another TV ad, dipping into her massive cash advantage over her rivals to tout her approval of recent gun law changes, like requiring permits for possessing a semiautomatic rifle, an expansion of the red flag law and studying whether microstamping of shell casings is feasible.
"There’s more to do," Hochul says looking directly into the camera. "But if Washington won’t act to keep people safe, I will."
The ad comes ahead of a looming Supreme Court ruling that could overturn New York's strict conceal carry law for guns; Hochul has previously vowed to bring state lawmakers back into session and address the ruling by passing a measure in response.
It's an example of how laws governing the regulations of firearms in New York and around the country are becoming a key issue in the race for governor, 10 days before Republicans and Democrats begin to vote in the statewide primaries for both parties.
Democratic rivals of the governor, including U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, have sought to tie Hochul back to her previous job, when a decade ago representing a conservative House district in Western New York she held a A+ rating from the National Rifle Association.
In the Tuesday night debate between the three Democratic candidates, there's little daylight now between them on gun policy.
On the right, Republicans have decried the efforts to tighten gun laws in the state, arguing the focus should be on mental health and aiding law enforcement agencies to counter the possibility of mass shootings as well as street crime that voters have increasingly identified as a key concern for them this year.
New York already has some of the strongest gun laws on the books. But Democratic officials have long pointed to the flow of illegal firearms into the state and have sought to crack down on the so-called "iron pipeline" of weapons frequently used in crimes involving a gun.
Efforts to tighten gun laws came after a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket and at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
A Spectrum News NY1/Siena College poll this week found 43% of New York City residents are "very concerned" their neighborhood will be the target of a racially motivated gunman. When it comes to overall public safety, 70% reported feeling less safe since the COVID-19 pandemic.
How this will translate when voters begin casting ballots is not known yet.