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New York to pass nation's first gun control bill since Newtown shooting

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 11:54am

Lawmakers in New York are poised to pass a new set of gun laws intended to fortify the state's assault weapons ban, limit the number of bullets in ammunition magazines and strengthen laws that keep the mentally ill from firearms.

The Democratic-controlled Assembly, which has been largely in favor of tight gun laws, is expected to take up the measure early Tuesday afternoon.

If passed, it will be the nation's first gun control bill passed since last month's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 27 people, including 20 children.

The GOP-controlled Senate approved the measure in a 43-18 vote Monday night, one week after Gov. Andrew Cuomo spelled out tough new gun control proposals in his annual State of the State address.

He called for an assault weapons ban, background checks for people who purchase guns in private transactions and a ban on high-capacity magazines.

The tentative deal would include a statewide gun registry and add a uniform licensing standard across the state, altering the current system, in which each county or municipality sets a standard.

Residents will also only be able to purchase magazines that carry seven bullets. The current limit is 10.

The measure would also expand New York's "Kendra's Law," which grants courts the authority to require residents to undergo psychiatric treatment if they meet particular criteria.

It would also add provisions to allow authorities to suspend or revoke licenses based on the opinions of mental health professionals, while affording more outpatient treatment for those residents.
 

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