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Senate Republicans raising concerns over gun control bill

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Senate Republicans just broke from nearly four hours of private talks over a gun control package – a vote many upstate GOP lawmakers do no want to have to take.

“It’s tough to tell. It looks like [there will] be a vote tonight, but it’s tough to tell,’’ said Sen. Michael Nozzolio, a Finger Lakes Republican and one of the few GOP senators who did not use a back entrance to the Senate chamber to avoid having to talk to reporters.

“We don’t know. The bill’s not done yet," said Sen. Thomas Libous, a Binghamton Republican.

But other sources say Senate Republicans have voiced a number of concerns, including the precise definition of an assault weapon. Also, some lawmakers want to vote for certain components of the bill – such as expanding an existing mandatory outpatient treatment law for mentally ill people. That has led to requests by some Senate Republicans that the gun bill be broken up into several components so GOP lawmakers can vote no on expanding gun restrictions – a political killer in many conservative upstate districts – and yes on the mental health portion and other provisions to increase penalties for crimes committed with illegal guns.

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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