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Politics and Government

Legislative leaders praise Cuomo speech, say close to gun control deal

Legislative leaders praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech, and say they are close to an agreement on one of the governor’s top priorities -- gun control legislation.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says he hopes to wrap up what he calls “fruitful” discussions shortly, on a gun control package. When reporters the leader whether a strengthened ban on assault weapons, which the governor seeks, would be part of the deal, Skelos chose to talk about cracking down on illegal guns instead.

“The root cause of most of the crimes, handgun crimes in this state, are by illegal hand guns," he said.

Skelos says he also wants to strengthen the mental health law known as Kendra’s Law, which requires involuntary outpatient treatment.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, says he backs all of the governor’s proposals on gun control, including strictly limiting magazine clips that contain multiple bullets.

“As he said, hunters don't need assault weapons. They're designed to kill as many people as as possible, as quickly as possible. We don't need them in New York state," said Silver.

Silver has asked his assembly members to be prepared to remain in Albany all week, in case there’s an agreement that could be voted on.