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Cuomo chides Trump on gun control in wake of El Paso, Dayton mass killings

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo joined a chorus of Democratic politicians from around the country on Monday who stepped up criticism of Republican President Trump and federal gun control laws that Democrats say are doing nothing to prevent mass shootings as seen over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

In the second day of his broadcast media tour, Cuomo called on Democrats in Washington to unify behind a single gun control package and to get the two dozen Democrats running for president to sign on in order to present a clear choice for Americans in the 2020 elections.

“I believe it," Cuomo said of Democrats' use of gun issues as a means to help re-take the White House and U.S. Senate next year while retaining control of the U.S. House.

Though it would be an idea open to legal challenge without an act of Congress, a presidential executive order should be issued by Trump, Cuomo said, to ban assault-style weapons and permit firearms to be taken from individuals who are deemed by courts to be a threat to themselves or others.

“Let the president do that if he is sincere," Cuomo said on WCBS radio in New York City shortly after Trump addressed the nation from the White House on the weekend massacres that left 31 dead and 53 injured in El Paso and Dayton.

Cuomo said Trump needs to put a sharper focus on restricting the availability of firearms. “The pattern is clear and we need gun laws to make a difference," Cuomo told the station.

In a separate interview with WAMC, an upstate public radio station, Cuomo said the federal government should model gun control effort on New York’s NY Safe-Act law, a 2013 gun regulation statute passed with Democratic and some key Senate Republican support in the Legislature.

Cuomo also sharply rebuked Trump, who in his Monday national address condemned racism and white supremacy. Cuomo said Trump’s rhetoric has fomented hate, and called the president’s statements Monday “one of the great acts of hypocrisy that I’ve witnessed."

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