New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo renewed calls for national gun-control legislation on Tuesday, after one of his aides was critically injured by a stray bullet in crossfire between two rival gangs in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Following the 2012 school shootings in Newtown, Conn., Governor Cuomo oversaw passage of the state’s sweeping gun control laws that are considered the strictest in the United States. At the time, President Obama launched an aggressive gun-control push, but his efforts failed in Congress. Gun rights activists have maintained that such legislation would violate the right to bear arms that is enshrined in the the Second Amendment.
Mr. Cuomo, in an interview on CNN on Tuesday, called for a renewed effort to pass a national policy, saying it is key to stopping the flow of weapons into New York from other states.
“Elected officials have to have the political courage to step up and say, ‘This weekly, ongoing tragedy of loss of life, of innocent victims, school children, young girls, young boys, must stop,’ ” Cuomo said on CNN.
“The only way to deal with this is a national gun policy,” said Cuomo, who said he is “not anti-gun” and is a gun owner himself. He owns a shotgun for hunting, according to his spokesman.
A US firearms policy would be aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill people, Cuomo said.
“You have to check everyone before they buy the gun. And that is the rub. People who are law-abiding citizens say ‘Don’t bother me. Don’t check me. Only check the criminal.’ But you can’t check the criminal unless you check everyone,” the governor said on CNN.
Cuomo’s aide was injured during a party celebrating the West Indian Day Parade, the latest in a string of injuries and fatalities that have plagued the parade for years. When inquired as to the future of the Parade, Police Commissioner William Bratton told Associated Press: “The political leadership, the community leadership, the communities themselves want that celebration. They’ve made that quite clear. … So we will work to the best of our ability to deal with the elements in that community that engage in that violence.”
This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.