Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders are talking about new steps toward tough gun controls in New York State. YNN's Bill Carey says leaders of the state's major cities say state action is just the first step toward dealing with the nation's gun problems.
NEW YORK -- It was a passionate plea from the state's governor.
“End the madness now. Pass safe, reasonable gun control in the state of New York,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The calls for new controls have already touched off angry debate. But leaders of the nation's major cities, who face gun violence on the streets, day to day, say the time for debate is past. They say it's time now for action.
“When we have it easier to get a gun than get a job, in a lot of neighborhoods in the United States, that's a problem,” said Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Stephanie Miner is among city leaders coping with daily reports of shots fired on their streets.
“Every projectile that leaves the barrel of that weapon has to come to a resting halt someplace. And that could end up in someone's house. That could end up striking someone's child or some adult or someone in that house that has absolutely nothing to do with the shooting,” said Frank Fowler, Syracuse Police Chief.
“ I was talking to a gentleman yesterday who said when his teenaged grandson leaves his house he worries and he thinks, is he going to come back alive? There is a reality that people in cities, people in Syracuse and in other places, are living with every day that not every part of our community understands,” said Mayor Miner.
The mayor says new state regulations will help, but that federal action is essential. Steps to halt the export of guns from states with lax gun rules.
“Not to pick on Ohio, but let's take Ohio for example, because we did have a case out of Ohio, where we had people traveling from the city of Syracuse, on almost a regular basis, to Ohio, purchasing guns and coming back into the city of Syracuse and selling them on our streets,” said Chief Fowler.
Despite the early verbal battles, city leaders are still hoping there can be compromise on new rules to finally bring guns under control.
“And those guns are killing children in Chicago. They're killing teenagers in Syracuse. They're killing kindergartners in Newtown, Connecticut. And we have to say enough is enough,” said Mayor Miner.
Miner says strong action in New York might just point the way to a national solution.