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The state of New York has become a major thorn in the side of gun owners.
While the state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, it had a divided state legislature, with Republicans controlling the state senate. That control provided at least a potential check on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-gun ambitions.
Unfortunately, that potential check is now gone.
Democrats on Tuesday seized control of the State Senate from Republicans for only the third time since World War II, flipping as many as four seats on Long Island, according to unofficial results.
Democrats said they rode an anti-Trump blue wave to lead in at least seven races previously held by Republicans, with two more too close to call, and held a hotly contested Democratic seat on Long Island, according to incomplete and unofficial results.
Democrats needed a net gain of just one seat on Tuesday to flip control of the 63-seat chamber, now held by Republicans with a 32-31 edge.
Democrats controlled the Senate only twice: In 1965 until Republicans won a special election months later; and in 2008, when Democrats won 32 seats in what was then a 62-seat chamber. Republicans scored a net gain of two seats in 2010, giving them a 32-seat majority plus a conservative Democrat who allied with them. GOP rule was further solidified in 2010 when four Democrats broke away from the Democratic majority to form the Independent Democratic Conference, which allied with the Republican majority and Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to get some progressive measures to the floor. It dissolved in April under pressure within the party.
The question is now just how much will Cuomo try to cram through?
Of special concern to us here at Bearing Arms is whether Cuomo will push lawmakers to consider new regulations for financial institutions who work with firearms companies or groups like the NRA. Cuomo has declared a personal war against the nation’s oldest civil rights group earlier this year and has seemingly pushed the financial industry to cut ties to the firearm industry.
Yet now with a more compliant state senate, one has to wonder if he’ll take things up a notch or two and try to push actual legislation that would bind institutions to his radical will.
As it stands, Cuomo has an outsized influence over financial matters because so many companies’ headquarters are in New York, which allows him to enact policies that impact the financial industry as a whole.
Now that he has both state legislative chambers in his pocket, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him amp up his agenda. Will we start to see more regulations that both push banks to make life difficult for gun companies and provide cover for anti-gun shenanigans from banks? It’s impossible to say for certain, but at this point, I’m not exactly expecting restraint from Cuomo and his cronies.
To be sure, this is a significant loss for New York gun owners. Cuomo will be able to push through any regulation he wants that will strip them of more of their constitutional rights.
However, this could end up being a big loss for the rest of us as well.