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Tuesday, January 5, 2016
By +Scott Leffler

Two of New York's highest Democrats came out in full support today of the announcement that President Barack Obama will use an executive order to require background checks for more gun sales and licensing for all gun sellers -- even those at gun shows and online.

According to the White House, the measure seeks to make gun sales easier to monitor, and keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and people with criminal records.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Gov. Andrew Cuomo both released statements today applauding the effort.

Gillibrand called Obama's proposed executive order a step "to end the scourge of gun violence in the new year."

Cuomo, meanwhile, said that New York State "has led the way on gun control -- enacting the toughest laws in the nation after Sandy Hook ..." Cuomo's SAFE Act has, of course, had its share of opponents, as will Obama's proposal.

Gillibrand's and Cuomo's statements follow below in their entireties:
The only way we are going to make our country safer from this epidemic of gun violence is with action: we need to fix our background check system and we need to pass a federal law that actually defines gun trafficking as a crime. I'm pleased that the President and his administration are taking steps to address this crisis. We have an obligation to do everything possible to keep Americans safe, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to take steps to end the scourge of gun violence in the new year.

-- U.S. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand
President Obama’s executive action to expand background checks, increase oversight, and close glaring loopholes in federal law marks a critically needed step forward for our nation. I applaud the President’s decision to take a stand and act, even as Congress continues to delay.

For too long, the American people have been without sensible gun control at the federal level. Thousands of lives have been cut short and countless families have been forced to bury their loved ones too soon – all due to gun violence. The fact that Congress refuses to act and pass a national law that protects the American people while also respecting their second amendment rights defies common sense.

New York has led the way on gun control – enacting the toughest laws in the nation after Sandy Hook where 20 children and six adults were tragically murdered. But there is still more we must do together as a nation. For all the progress we have made in New York State on this issue, the lack of federal gun control continues to leave our communities in the line of fire. Congress must pass a strong national gun control bill and follow the President’s lead in putting the safety of America’s families first.

-- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
U.S. Sen Chuck Schumer has not yet released a statement on the matter. One of the issues the executive order doesn't address is disallowing those on the government "no-fly list" from purchasing guns. Schumer has advocated closing that "loophole" for the past several months.

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