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Cuomo seeks to relax bullet clip restrictions

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is backing down on a provision in the new gun control law that in three weeks would have banned gun shops from selling weapon clips that hold up to 10 bullets.

With opposition still active by gun rights groups and owners, Cuomo said the law passed in January has “inconsistent’’ provisions that permit people to have 10 bullet magazines at a competition or gun range but makes it illegal to have more than seven rounds in the magazine. Gun makers say they do not make seven-round magazines, and gun rights groups say Cuomo’s gun bill was crafted as a way to limit their gun purchase rights by going after the clip sizes.

Under the plan being negotiated at the Capitol, Cuomo said it will still be illegal for people to have more than seven bullets in a clip, even if that clip has a 10-round capacity. The only exception is at gun ranges and at shooting competitions.

The law grandfathered in existing 10-round clips purchased before April 15. Now, those larger clip sizes will still be allowed to be sold after April 15 in New York if the deal is finalized. The plan was first floated by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Tuesday.

Cuomo, whose poll numbers have been dropping, especially upstate, said the change has nothing to do with anything other than what he characterized numerous times as inconsistent language. Cuomo said any push to permit people to still put up to 10 bullets in the 10-bullet capacity clips is a “non-starter.’’

UPDATE: After meeting with Cuomo this afternoon, Silver sought to downplay the change. "It's a change to accommodate commerce, basically. They're not being made in sevens,'' he said of seven bullet clips.

Asked if he was worried about more, larger clips being in circulation, which was the stated intent of the lower magazine sizes when Cuomo and lawmakers cut the deal, Silver said: "The issue is not the magazines. The issue is the people and what they do with them ... We're banning assault weapons. We're not going back on banning assault weapons. That's a tremendous accomplishment in this state.''

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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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