The state Senate, controlled by a coalition of Republicans and some Democrats, voted 43-18 to approve a package around 11 p.m. Monday on the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that killed 20 children and six adult staff members and wounded two others.
The Assembly, controlled by Democrats, was expected to easily pass the measure when it voted Tuesday morning.
"I believe it's the most comprehensive package in the nation," Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters shortly before 9 p.m.
The legislation, called the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, broadens the state's definition of banned assault weapons so that any single characteristic -- such as a telescoping stock, flash suppressor, bayonet attachment or pistol grip -- on a semiautomatic rifle would render it illegal, the Times Union of Albany, N.Y., reported.
Existing weapons would be grandfathered in, but such guns would have to be registered with the state and their ownership could not be transferred.
The measure also increases penalties for those convicted of illegal gun possession, stiffens penalties for people who use guns criminally and creates a statewide database for gun permits.
As part of the measure, the state's Freedom of Information Law would be changed in response to a controversy that erupted after The (White Plains) Journal News published the names and addresses of handgun-permit holders.
The new law prohibits disclosure of people's names on the new database and lets individuals exempt their names and addresses from being disclosed by counties that have such databases, The New York Times reported.
A measure the Times said was most significant requires mental-health professionals to report to local mental-health offices any patients they consider likely to harm themselves or others.
Law enforcement would then be authorized to confiscate any firearm owned by such a patient. Therapists would face no penalties for not reporting dangerous patients if they acted "in good faith."
"People who have mental-health issues should not have guns," Cuomo said at the news conference. "They could hurt themselves, they could hurt other people."
New York's efforts come as the White House seeks to push new federal gun legislation through Congress.
In Connecticut, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy has formed a commission to consider firearms restrictions, and the state's Legislature is preparing measures.
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