Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

New York Nears Accord on Gun Controls ; Republicans Clear Way for Assault Weapon Ban and Limit on Magazines

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

New York Nears Accord on Gun Controls ; Republicans Clear Way for Assault Weapon Ban and Limit on Magazines

Article excerpt

The state's proposed package would ban assault weapons and large- capacity magazines and add new measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill people.

New York State is nearing agreement on a proposal to put what would be some of the strictest gun-control laws in the United States into effect, including what the state's governor vowed would be an ironclad ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines and new measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill people.

State lawmakers, seeking to send a message that the recent mass shootings in Connecticut, Colorado and elsewhere in the country demand swift action, say they hope to vote on the package of legislation as soon as next week. Republicans in the state Senate, considered the only obstacle to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's proposal, indicated that they did not intend to block a deal.

The dash to enact new gun controls made New York the first flash point in the battles over firearm restrictions that are expected to consume several U.S. state capitals this year. But the debate also raged elsewhere Wednesday. In Denver, supporters of gun rights rallied to oppose weapon restrictions in the new legislative session; in Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, in an emotional speech to lawmakers -- he lost his composure talking about the mass killings at an elementary school in his state last month -- said, "More guns are not the answer."

At the White House, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. met with gun-control advocates and said the Obama administration planned to pass legislation and to use executive orders to try to reduce gun violence. "The president and I are determined to take action," Mr. Biden said. "This is not an exercise in photo opportunities."

The White House meeting was part of Mr. Biden's effort to develop proposals for Mr. Obama and Congress after the killings in Newtown, Connecticut. A panel led by Mr. Biden is scheduled to offer recommendations this month.

Offering a glimpse of the approach that he might take, Mr. Biden hinted that his group was not likely to recommend an all-or-nothing approach to the issue of gun violence. "We are not going to get caught up in the notion unless we can do everything, we're not going to do anything," Mr. Biden said.

John Feinblatt, who attended the White House meeting on behalf of Mayor Michael R. …

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