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New York Passes Major Gun Control Laws; First Since Newtown Shooting

Taylor Hill/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- New York Govenor Andrew Cuomo has signed the first gun-control measures to be enacted since the rampage killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Lawmakers have expanded the state's ban on assault-style weapons, restricted the capacity of magazines and required mental health counselors to speak up when they believe their patients may do harm.

“This is a gun control bill, if you will, that actually exercises common sense,” Cuomo said. “The first point is people who are mentally ill should not have access to guns.”

Critics like Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin complained the new measures were rushed; Democratic Assemblywoman Annette Robinson called gun control an emergency.

Cuomo says New York now has the toughest gun laws in the nation.

“We saw, we learned, we responded, and we acted. And we are doing something about it,” Cuomo said.

The NRA called the laws an assault on the Second Amendment.

President Obama and Vice President Biden on Wednesday will roll out their priorities to curb gun violence, just over a month after the Newtown shooting. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday, "They will be joined by children from around the country who wrote the president letters in the wake of that tragedy expressing their concerns about gun violence and school safety. "

Carney says the president is not naive, and knows Congress might refuse to pass more limits on guns. Obama will have some executive actions to announce, as well.

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