Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday that he had started discussions with leaders of the State Legislature about new gun control measures, and that he planned to propose a package of gun legislation in his State of the State address on Jan. 9.
The New York Assembly, controlled by Democrats, has voted for a number of proposed gun control measures in recent years, only to have the legislation falter in the Senate, which has been controlled by Republicans. (Starting next month, the Senate is to be led by a coalition of Republicans and a breakaway faction of Democrats.)
Mr. Cuomo, speaking on WGDJ-AM, said gun control had not recently been among the most discussed topics in the capital, so he had reached out to lawmakers to gauge where they stood before he made his proposals final.
He added that he was focusing his attention on changing state laws restricting the possession of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The governor described the state’s existing ban on those items as having “more holes than Swiss cheese.”
“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’ ” he said. At the same time, he noted that he owns a shotgun that he has used for hunting, and said, “There is a balance here — I understand the rights of gun owners; I understand the rights of hunters.”
In the interview, Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose, but, while discussing assault weapons, he said: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
Mr. Cuomo said it was highly unlikely that lawmakers would reach a deal on new gun laws in the coming days, dismissing as unfounded suggestions that legislators would be called back to Albany as early as this week for a special session devoted to the subject of gun control.
“The only thing that’s going to happen in the next few days is Christmas,” Mr. Cuomo said.