ALBANY Gov. Cuomo says he doesn’t know how to take President Trump’s latest position on gun control.
“I’ve given up trying to figure out the President in terms of his statements,” Cuomo said Thursday during an appearance on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.” “I think most people have given up trying to figure out the President in terms of his statements.”
Cuomo noted that Trump previously has stood up “pledging allegiance to the NRA and the 2nd Amendment” before changing course on Wednesday by saying “he’s in favor of confiscation of guns without any due process.”
“Let’s see what he does and then we’ll judge,” Cuomo said.
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The governor, who is believed to have national ambitions for 2020, said the recent school massacre in Florida has opened the door for possible gun control measures in a way that even the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., did not.
“I believe the political mood has changed,” he said. “I think you’re going to see many of the people who are normally less animated who want the gun reform measures passed more animated.”
Cuomo reiterated statements in recent days that the country needs more than just “incremental changes” like the talk on the federal level of increasing the age that someone can purchase a firearm to 21 and outlawing bump-stock devices like the one used in last year’s Las Vegas mass shooting.
He said he believes the Republicans nationally and in New York could be vulnerable if they don’t take up real gun reforms.
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“If the Republicans think they’re going to score political points by being against gun reform, they’re making a terrible mistake,” Cuomo said. “I think this November they’re going to pay a price.”
Cuomo again called on the congressional Democrats to put forward a full-throated gun reform measure that would ban assault weapons, strengthen background check requirements by closing gun show and other loopholes, and create a national mental health database.
“We should not allow the national Republicans to frame the discussion around incremental change,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cuomo again downplayed a package of four gun control bills state Senate Democrats tried to bring to the floor for a vote on Wednesday only to see the effort beaten back by the Republican majority. Cuomo said while the state can enact some more gun changes, the real issue is on the federal level since guns continue to flow into New York from the south.