Cuomo to Democratic presidential candidates: Endorse ‘Make America Safer Pledge’

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
J. Conrad Williams Jr. / Newsday via Associated Press, Pool

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday called on the Democratic presidential candidates to endorse the “Make America Safer Pledge,” a 4-point plan to keep Americans safe from gun violence.

Immediately following the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Tx and Dayton, Oh earlier this week, Cuomo condemned President Trump and urged the US Congress to follow New York’s lead and pass significant gun safety measures.

Under his leadership, Cuomo said New York has passed “the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, including the SAFE Act in 2013, which keeps guns out of the hands of convicted felons and individuals with a mental illness, ensures private gun sales are subject to a background check, bans high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and toughens criminal penalties for illegal gun use.”

The governor wants Democratic presidential candidates to support the following gun safety measures: Outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; create a mental health data base to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing a firearm; pass universal background checks closing the private gun sales loophole; and pass Red Flag legislation preventing individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.

Following the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2013, Cuomo championed and passed the SAFE Act, “which enacted the strongest gun control laws in the nation.”

Since the passage of the SAFE Act, the Office of the Governor said 139,371 reports from mental health professionals have been received by state officials intended to keep weapons away from people with mental illnesses that are likely to “engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to self or others.”

These reports – which represent nearly 98,000 people with a potential dangerous mental disposition – are used to notify appropriate local licensing officials who suspend or revoke weapon licenses and prompt local law enforcement officials to remove weapons that are not surrendered, Cuomo’s office said.

“New York State passed the laws six years ago and they have worked,” it said. “No legal gun owners’ rights have been violated, but unnecessary, dangerous weapons are off the streets, and dangerously mentally ill people cannot by guns.”

“New York State is the laboratory; we provided the experiment,” Cuomo said. “Now, do it nationwide.”

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