One year after gun control act, background checks on hold

Posted at: 01/15/2014 5:52 PM
Updated at: 01/15/2014 6:34 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - A year ago Gov. Cuomo rushed to sign the gun control legislation, holding a ceremony and bragging about the state's action in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting that killed 26.

"I am proud to be a New Yorker today," the governor said a year ago. "I am proud to be part of this government, not just because New York has the first bill but because New York has the best bill."

But one year later there's no anniversary ceremony or other celebration of the legislation.

The governor's poll popularity took a hit after the SAFE Act was rammed through and hasn't really recovered, although he remains popular and without major challenge so far this election year.

An open letter from the state police superintendent is posted on a website for the SAFE Act. It says the database to run background checks for ammunition sales is under construction and not operational, with no estimate given for when that might change.

"Call me cynical but I've been around Albany long enough to know that certain things happen during an election year and certain things don't happen and as unpopular as the SAFE Act is, to put this ammunition background check into place, which would actually be probably the most onerous portion of the law, would really infuriate the people upstate more," said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.

A spokeswoman for the New York State Police declined comment and refused to offer anyone to explain the background check delay.