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Cuomo points to gun law success -- with or without Byron Brown

By Robert J. McCarthy

If there was one topic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo seemed to passionately defend during his visit to Buffalo this week, it was his new gun control legislation that ranks as among the toughest in the nation.

"Keeping guns from criminals and the mentally ill?" he said during a conversation with the editorial board of The Buffalo News. "Who could argue with that?"

But the governor seemed encouraged that even though a vocal 30 percent of New Yorkers do not approve, the law he deems a good one is now in effect. That also seemed to pertain to one New Yorker -- Mayor Byron W. Brown -- who after its passage declined to comment on key elements of the law such as a ban on assault weapons.

While all other "Big Five" mayors (including New York's Michael R. Bloomberg) enthusiastically embraced the law, Brown passed on discussing it's controversial aspects while insisting he supports the bill in principle.

When asked if he was disappointed in the mayor's position, Cuomo said only that he has not discussed the issue with Brown.

"I don't even know what his position is; I have not had a conversation with him," the governor said, embracing Brown's stated position that he is not a legislator and did not vote on the bill.

"The law pertains in Buffalo whether or not the mayor likes it," Cuomo said.

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