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Three Village Readers Say Mental Health is Big Issue in New State Gun Law

Many support regulation as long as medical assistance for mentally ill is addressed as well.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed gun legislation on Tuesday that made state laws the toughest in the country.

This new legislation includes expanding the state’s ban on assault weapons and strengthened guidelines to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. According to the new laws, owners of previously legal semiautomatic rifles will be allowed to keep their weapons but will have a year to register them with police. Future sale of these guns is prohibited.

The new restrictions come on the heels of recent gun violence, including the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in which 20 children and six adults were killed. Since the shootings, outcry for stricter gun control has been louder than ever, but these new laws do not come without opposition.

When we asked on our Facebook page what people thought about the new measures, most focused on the issue of mental health.

David Bitman wrote that he thinks reasonable laws are needed.

“For hunting, sports and home defense limited laws regarding ammunition capacity and weapon styles are justified however there needs to be better mental health care,” he said.

Virginia Connolly echoed his comment.

“I'd feel better about the whole thing if it came hand in hand with some mental health assistance/guidance,” she said.

Drew Biondo, the director of communications for State Senator Ken LaValle commented that the new legislation does include a mental health aspect.

Earlier in the week, Biondo wrote on Twitter that people who were afraid of having their guns taken away had nothing to worry about.

“All the hullabaloo over new NY gun law,” he tweeted. “Fact is no ones gun is being taken away.”

Janet Basile wrote that the second amendment called for a "well regulated” militia. Bitman pointed out that honest people follow the law.

“Criminals will always find an illegal way to obtain firearms,” he said.

We want to hear more. Do you support tighter gun control measures? Do you believe the state is taking the right action? Add your comment below.

EG January 18, 2013 at 06:43 PM
“Criminals will always find an illegal way to obtain firearms" Limiting law abiding citizen's the ability to defend themselves with a 7 round magazine is absurd. All that accomplishes is to ensure that the criminal will out gun the victim Governor Cuomo associates the Second Amendment with hunting. The Second Amendment is not about hunting, but was instituted to ensure that citizens do not become subjects of a tyrannical Government. A recent Rasmussen Poll shows that 65% of Americans understand that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure that people can protect themselves from Tyranny.

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