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New York Passes Strictest Gun Laws in the Nation

Cuomo signs package into law, making the empire state the first to usher in change after Newtown shootings.

New York has adopted tighter gun regulations that officials hope will effectively limit future gun violence in the state.

The State Assembly voted 104-to-43 Tuesday afternoon to pass the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act just one month and one day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The laws, which strengthen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, are the first from any single state to enact strict reform following the Sandy Hook massacre. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law very soon.

Many of the cardinal changes included in the SAFE Act were touted by Cuomo in his recent State of the State address.

On Monday, the bill passed through the State Senate with resounding success, moving on to the house via a 43-to-18 vote.

Housed in the bill is an outright ban of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines that have any features "commonly associated with military weapons."

Also nestled in the package are a passel of other laws, which make bringing a gun onto school grounds a felony, and allow some gun owners to keep their liscenses private—a decision for which The Journal News' gun map was likely the catalyst. 

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said most residents want the Legislature "to basically eradice assault weapons from our streets in New York as quickly as possible."

Some, however, were chagrined by the legislation.

"These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime," the National Rifle Association penned in a press release Tuesday. "Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality."

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