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New York Tightens Gun Laws

Gov. Cuomo signs package into law; NY is first state to usher in change.

New York State has adopted tighter gun regulations that officials hope will act as a ballast in preventing future gun violence.

The State Assembly voted 104-to-43 Tuesday afternoon to pass the NY SAFE Act, just one month and one day after the tragic elementary school massacre in Newtown, CT.

The laws strengthen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law sometime Tuesday, or shortly after.

Many of the cardinal changes included in the SAFE Act were touted by Cuomo in his recent State of the State address.

On Monday, the bill passed through the State Senate with resounding success, moving on to the house via a 43-to-18 vote.

Housed in the bill is an outright ban of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines that have any features "commonly associated with military weapons."

Also nestled in the package are a passel of other laws, which make bringing a gun onto school grounds a felony, and allow some gun owners to keep their liscenses private—a decision for which The Journal News' gun map was likely the catalyst.

(Readers can see a more comprehensive look at the legislation here.)

New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has hailed the tightening of gun laws as a step forward.

"With the passage of this legislation, our state has taken decisive action to protect New Yorkers from gun violence," he said Tuesday. "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."

Others, however, are chagrined by the legislation.

"These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime," the National Rifle Association penned in a press release Tuesday. "Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality."

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