Cuomo agrees to suspend background checks for ammo
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Background checks for ammo sales was part of the Safe Act, a gun control initiative passed in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in neighboring Connecticut.
 
The policy changes were included in a memorandum of understanding between the governor and Republicans in the state Senate.  
 
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The memo cited “lack of adequate technology,” referring to a database state officials had struggled to design to implement the checks.
 
It states “no expenditures of state monies shall be allocated for the purpose of purchasing and installing software, programming and interface required to transmit any record for the purpose of performing an eligibility check.”
 
It was signed by Jim Malatras, Cuomo’s director of state operations, and John Flanagan (R), the temporary president of the Senate.
 
Republicans hailed the move.
 
"I think it's very significant," said state Sen. James Seward, a Republican from Milford, according to Syracuse.com. "This is a banner day for law-abiding gun owners in New York."
 
State Democrats, though, blasted the policy retreat.
 
“I did not participate in this ‘agreement,’ ” Carl Heastie, a state representative from the Bronx, told The New York Times. “The law may not be ‘suspended’ by a memorandum such as this. I believe the law should be followed and implemented as intended.”
 
Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy called it “outrageous.”
 
"I guess we don't have the toughest gun laws in the nation anymore," Murphy said in a statement. "This two-way agreement is outrageous. I'm looking forward to the MOUs on the minimum wage, paid family leave, protecting a woman's right to choose and the numerous other things the Senate Republicans are blocking."
 
Democrats in the legislature, however, had agreed to cut money for the database from the budget.
 
Cuomo has often spoken of the Safe Act as one of the major accomplishments of his time in office. It expanded the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.