(CBS) A deal to give New York one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation is being negotiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, sources said Tuesday, is hoping to announce the plan Wednesday during his State of the State speech in Albany.
Cuomo hopes to jump-start the 2013 legislative session with a big deal that could dramatically alter gun control laws across the state.
Highly placed sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer that Cuomo is negotiating with Assembly and Senate leaders for a package of gun control laws that would be a dramatic response to the gun violence besetting the nation, including the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“It’s a very divisive topic,” Cuomo said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of energy on both sides. Some people are vehemently against’ some people think we’re out of our minds for not passing it.”
Sources told Kramer the governor and lawmakers are negotiating furiously in the hope that Cuomo can announce a deal during his speech Wednesday.
Sources said the package is expected to include:
* New restrictions on assault weapons
* Stiffer penalties for using a gun to commit a crime
“Gun control is highly political, politically contentious situation. It is polarizing,” Cuomo said.
In Westchester County,where Mamaroneck’s Hommocks Middle School was under lockdown last week amid reports a gunman tried to enter the school, the need for gun control is on the minds of many.
“There’s just too many incidents that are happening that you think could be avoided if there were stronger regulations about it,” one mother from Larchmont said, adding when asked if her children’s safety is her motivation, “Absolutely, I mean you can’t even send them to school now. Now my kids have police in front of their school. I mean you wonder how far it’s going to go.”
“I think it’s necessary with everything that’s happening,” Mamaroneck resident Gail Nubile added. “With the recent things that have been going on it does make you think that things to be happening, so you have to be extra cautious.”
“How many more children must die before Washington does something to end our gun violence problem?” Roxanna Green says during the ad.
It would be quite a coup for Cuomo, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, to show progress on gun control while Washington dithers.
Late Tuesday night a Cuomo spokesman said the sides still had not reached an agreement, but sources told CBS 2′s Kramer there is talk of keeping the Legislature in session for the rest of the week to make sure a deal gets done.
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