Cuomo Calls on Democratic Candidates to Take Make America Safer Pledge

Cuomo says two elements led to mass shootings last weekend ha

Tom Puckett
August 07, 2019 - 3:26 pm

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New York, NY (WBEN) Governor Cuomo says hatred and guns led to last week's mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. Cuomo is challenging Democratic presidential candidates to take a pledge to combat gun violence.

"The truth here is there are two elements that created the crisis. Right? One is the hatred and the anger and the discrimination and the second is guns. We have to address both and addressing hate is a longer and harder conversation, especially when you have a president who's fomented it and marketed it," Cuomo told WCBS in New York.

Cuomo on Wednesday unveiled the “Make America Safer Pledge,” a four-point plan to keep cities across the country safe from gun violence. "One,ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines because hate doesn't pull the trigger. An assault weapon pulls the trigger. Hate can pick up a rock. Hate can pick up a stone, a club, a knife, but an assault weapon kills a lot of people in a short period of time so ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Do universal background checks, because you shouldn't have a gun if you are a felon or mentally ill. Third, a mental health database which we put in place in this state six years ago. One hundred thousand have been put on a mental health database. They're seriously mentally ill. They shouldn't have a gun and they could have had a gun before our law. And the fourth is what's called the Red Flag law which is if you have a family member or a teacher who knows a student is exhibiting behavior where they may be a danger to themselves or others go to a judge and get the guns from the person before they hurt someone and let the judge supervise it," says Cuomo.

In 2013, Cuomo signed the strongest gun safety laws in the nation – the SAFE Act – which keeps guns out of the hands of convicted felons and individuals with a mental illness, ensures private gun sales are subject to a background check, bans high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and toughens criminal penalties for illegal gun use. He believes every state should follow suit. “The law's been in effect for six years. We know how it works. So use our experience and let's give clarity to the American people so there's a choice.”

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