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The Governor of Massachusetts has filed new legislation that would introduce stricter regulations on gun ownership. The bill includes strict background checks and closing licensing loopholes. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Governor Patrick announced the legislation just over a month after the shooting deaths of children and educators in the massacre in Newtown, Conn, and only one day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the SAFE Act, putting tighter restrictions on gun ownership in the Empire State.

Karen DeWitt

  The unique new governing coalition in the New York State Senate passed its first test , on the first full day of session, when Senators approved a sweeping gun control package urged by Governor Cuomo.Senator Jeff Klein, the leader of the five member faction of Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference, took a gamble breaking away from the rest of the Democrats and forming the dominant governing coalition with the now 30 Republican Senators.

Critics Say Cuomo Rushed Action on Guns

Jan 15, 2013
Pat Arnow

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is being criticized by a good-government group and rank-and-file lawmakers for rushing his gun control law through secret meetings to make New York the first state to enact a measure since the Newtown, Conn., tragedy.

Dick Dadey of Citizens Union says the closed-door negotiations followed by immediate votes were unnecessary for a bill in which most measures aren't effective for 60 days.

Dadey says public input and debate makes better laws.

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

The gun control debate is about to begin on Beacon Hill in Boston. A state lawmaker will introduce legislation this week that will, among other things, require assault weapons in Massachusetts to remain locked and secured at gun clubs, when not in use by their owners. The legislation is from State House Democrat David Linsky of the 5th Middlesex District. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

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Today, New York is expected to become the first state to enact major gun control policy following last month’s tragic elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement, or SAFE Act, includes a ban on all pre-1994 high capacity ammunition magazines, a ban on any magazine that holds over 7 rounds, and real-time background checks on ammunition purchases to alert law enforcement of high volume purchasing.

  ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Legislation that would give New York state the toughest gun restrictions in the nation is expected to easily pass today in the state Assembly, where is it being debated this morning.

It's already won approval in the state Senate, where the Republican leader says it is "well-balanced" and "protects the Second Amendment."

It provides for a stricter assault ban, and seeks to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. It also calls for restrictions on ammunition and the sale of guns.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) —  The first Republican senator to emerge from a five-hour private session says he expects the New York Legislature to vote on a gun control bill by the end of the day.

State Senator Michael Nozzolio from Monroe County says there are a number of concerns remaining, but he expects the vote.

The issue would not be coming to the floor under Albany rules if it wasn't almost sure to pass.

People familiar with closed-door negotiations say a tentative deal was struck over the weekend.

Two rifles and ammunition have been seized from vehicles at the Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg but the principal says the guns were used for hunting and he doesn't believe the students intended to harm anyone.

The school policy prohibits having firearms on school grounds.

On the second anniversary of the Arizona mass shooting that almost took her life and almost a month after the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 children, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announced today the formation of a political action committee aimed at countering the influence of the gun lobby in Washington.

Friday’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is on record as the second deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history. 26 lives were taken; the majority of them children aged 6 and 7.

The shooting has renewed the debate on the role of guns in American society, with politicians and advocacy groups again at odds over whether new restrictions should be put on how guns are bought and what types of guns should be made available.

On this edition of Vox Pop we want to hear your opinion on guns in America. WAMC’s Alan Chartock hosts.