Local
9:43 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Assembly passes, governor signs gun control bill; consumers stock up

New York has become the first state to dramatically stiffen its gun laws after last month's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

With Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature Tuesday, parts of the measure that sped through the legislature in two days take effect immediately. 

Governor Cuomo signs the NY SAFE Act.
Credit Karen Dewitt/WBFO News
WBFO Albany correspondent Karen Dewitt reports.

The law calls for a tougher assault weapons ban and provisions to try to keep guns away from mentally ill people who make threats. 

"We are fighting back," Cuomo said, in response to recent tragedies in Newtown and Webster, N.Y.

It also calls for background checks on ammunition, a ban on large magazines that hold more than seven bullets, stiffer penalties for gun crimes and background checks even on private sales, such as those at gun shows.  

"The high-capacity magazines that give you the capacity to kill a large number of human beings in a very short period of time is nonsensical to a civil society," Cuomo said.

Mental health professionals will be required to report any patient who they believe to be a threat to use a gun illegally. the patient's gun could be confiscated.

"This is a complex, multifaceted problem and this is a comprehensive bill that addresses the full panorama and spectrum of issues that come up," Cuomo said.

Governor Cuomo signs the gun legislation and takes questions from reporters.

Many consumers flocked to gun dealers Tuesday to buy firearms and ammunition. There was a line of customers waiting to get into the Buffalo Gun Center in Cheektowaga throughout the day.

Steve, who describes himself as "an avid shooter" said he is "disgusted what the governor has done to this state" and "what the president has done to this country."

Consumers waited up to a half-hour today to purchase firearms at the Buffalo Gun Center in Cheektowaga.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News
WBFO's Chris Caya reports on the rush by gun enthusiasts to purchase firearms.

"They don't have a right to mess with the Constitution and the Bills of Rights, but they've chosen to. So I think by standing out here in the cold, you've got the opinion of a lot of people who may not be willing to voice their voices, but it's obvious what's going on here. We don't agree with what's going on and we're frightened of our government," Steve said.

Now that it has been signed by Governor Cuomo, the laws will take 60 days to take effect.

"It's not right. I think the ones that are illegal are going to get the guns anyway. They can't stop that," Jimmy from Buffalo said.