Governor Signs Nation's 'Toughest' Gun Control Bill into Law

By Dave Greber

January 15, 2013 Updated Jan 16, 2013 at 1:51 AM EDT

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept pace with his gun control proposal that moved through both the state Senate and Assembly in less than 24 hours by signing the bill less than an hour after it cleared its final hurdle.

The New York Assembly approved the SAFE Act by a vote of 104-43 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, following more than four hours of floor debate. Cuomo put pen to paper at approximately 5:10 p.m.

That move came less than 24 hours after the bill moved through the state Senate by a 43-18 vote.

New York is the first state to move on tougher gun laws in the wake of last month's shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

Cuomo briefed reporters Monday evening before the measure was taken up by the Senate. He was confident then the bill proceed as did.

When the final tally was read by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy Monday, the Senate had overwhelmingly approved it, with both Republicans and Democrats casting affirmative votes.

However, Sens. Tom Libous and James Seward, both Republicans, were among those who cast a dissenting vote.

Said Libous on Tuesday: "While parts of the bill make sense, other parts violate our Constitutional rights and limit individuals from protecting themselves and their families."

Downstate Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson, Putnam County) also voted "no."

"We haven't saved any lives tonight except for one," Ball said Monday night. "The political life of a governor who wants to be president."

Among the key points of the legislation are limits on magazines, mandatory license renewal for gun owners every five years, stiffer penalties for bringing guns on school property or using a gun to commit a crime and further restrictions on assault weapons.

Cuomo told reporters the reason the legislation was being pushed through is an expected run on sales of assault weapons.

As a result, the three-day waiting period for a bill's adoption was waived. Cuomo said the state has seen a large jump in the number of gun permits issued during the past few weeks in anticipation of the bill.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he was pleased with legislators' "decisive action" Monday and Tuesday.

"By expanding the state’s assault weapons ban, limiting high-capacity magazines and improving background checks, among other measures, the Legislature and Governor Cuomo deserve credit for putting the safety of our communities first," Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "I look forward to continuing to work together with my colleagues in government and law enforcement as we seek to expand our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people."