Photo: Pat Arnow

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Under the Leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) New York has become the first state to pass a gun control law in the wake of the Newtown shooting. From CNN:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo beefed up New York’s gun-control laws on Tuesday by signing into law a new package of firearm and mental health regulations that mark the nation’s first since last month’s massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. [...]

The laws fortify New York’s existing assault weapons ban, limit the number of bullets allowed in magazines and strengthen rules that govern the mentally ill, which includes a requirement to report potentially harmful behavior.

Both the GOP-controlled Senate and Democrat-dominated Assembly approved the measure by overwhelming margins just one week after Cuomo spelled out the proposals in his annual State of the State address.

I don’t think the fact that Cuomo might be thinking about a 2016 presidential run has caused him to change his opinion about gun control policy, but I suspect it may have been a factor in Cuomo’s decision to fast-track this legislation. It not only earns his state the title of “first,” but it assures him a very prominent place in what is going to be big national conversation.

The horse race aspects of the 2016 election at this point are mostly meaningless.  But it’s important to pay attention to the ways the election can significantly impact the current policy decision of possible candidates, whether it is Democrats pushing liberal policies or Republican governors taking hardline stances against Obamacare.

Cuomo’s recent State of the State address did heavily focus on many priorities of the Democratic base, including marijuana decriminalization, gun control, campaign finance reform, minimum wage and equality for women. He seems to be working with remarkable spend to make some of these things a reality.