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As Governor Andrew Cuomo wants New York to enact the toughest assault weapons ban in the country, local politicians are weighing in.

Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley says the importance of the Second Amendment should not be obfuscated.

“What we’re talking about here is a right to bear arms,” he said. “Assault weapons are already banned in New York State and so are large rounds of ammunition. I think we need to take a look at this very carefully and be sure that we’re not looking at the Constitution differently.”

For now, a gun control deal in Albany remains elusive. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says lawmakers are "95 percent of the way there" on a gun control package that would include a new assault weapons ban, but says there still is work to be done.

Cuomo was passionate in his speech Wednesday about making New York the leader in the nation in gun control legislation following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre; but Hawley says it’s a sensitive issue.

“It’s interesting to note that there was indication that the Governor wanted to have a special session today (Thursday) to push the vote on his proposal,” Hawley said. “To give less than 24 hours to look at something of this magnitude is inappropriate.”

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer has not spoken out about gun control legislation, but like Hawley, praised the governor’s plans in his State of the State address to promote and invest in Upstate New York and his emphasis on technology. He might have objections, but Ranzenhofer is taking on a positive mindset.

“When anybody lays out that bold and that aggressive an agenda, there’s not going to be agreement on every particular issue," he said. "What I think we need to do is focus on is the area that we have in common and where we can move forward.”

Hawley also criticized the Governor’s lack of plans to address unfunded mandate relief, something he calls “one of the biggest issues facing state government this year.” This burden, Hawley says, directly affects not only schools, but towns and villages.

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