NEWTOWN, Conn. -- New York became the first state to take legislative action to combat gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre as the state Senate passed a bill that would crack down on assault weapons, ban high-capacity magazines and outlaw online sales of assault weapons.
The Democratic-controlled Assembly was expected to take up the bill, known as the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, on Tuesday.
Senate passage of the bill came late Monday, the one-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Hours before the New York lawmakers voted, President Obama held a news conference acknowledging that passage on the national level of new gun restrictions will be challenging. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made clear he wants his state to be a launching pad for other states, and for Washington, to follow suit.
In a brief statement after the Senate voted 43-18 in favor of the bill, Cuomo said: "Tonight, the senators that voted for the NY SAFE Act of 2013 made a bold statement, coming together in a bipartisan, collaborative manner to meet the challenges that face our state and our nation, as we have seen far too many senseless acts of gun violence."