Cuomo has ‘given up’ trying to understand Trump's gun stance

ALBANY. N.Y. — Gov. Cuomo says he doesn't know how to take President Trump's latest position on gun control.

"I've given up trying to figure out the President in terms of his statements," Cuomo said Thursday during an appearance on WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show." "I think most people have given up trying to figure out the President in terms of his statements."

Cuomo noted that Trump previously has stood up "pledging allegiance to the NRA and the 2nd Amendment" before changing course on Wednesday by saying "he's in favor of confiscation of guns without an due process."

"Let's see what he does and then we'll judge," Cuomo said.

The governor, who is believed to have national ambitions for 2020, said the recent school massacre in Florida has opened the door for possible gun control measures in a way that even the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., did not.

RELATED: Florida lawmakers refuse to debate a gun control measure

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Florida lawmakers refuse to debate a gun control measure
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Florida lawmakers refuse to debate a gun control measure
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and those supporting them react after the Florida House of Representatives vote down a procedural move to take a bill banning assault weapons out of committee and bring it to the floor for a vote on February 20, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S. following last week's mass shooting on their campus. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and those supporting them react as they watch the Florida House of Representatives vote down a procedural move to take a bill banning assault weapons out of committee and bring it to the floor for a vote on February 20, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S. following last week's mass shooting on their campus. REUTERS/Colin Hackley TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sheryl Acquaroli, (L), and Ashley Santoro, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School react as they watch the Florida House of Representatives vote down a procedural move to take a bill banning assault weapons out of committee and bring it to the floor for a vote on February 20, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S. following last week's mass shooting on their campus. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, raises his hand as part of a move to make members of the House of Representatives have their vote recorded during his request to have a bill banning assault rifles pulled from committee and brought immediately to the House for a vote at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Sen. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, looks on his computer at gun control bills moving through the Senate as he talks with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and those that support their cause, following last week's mass shooting on their campus, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walk by a sign in the Senate office building on the way to speak with Florida state legislators, following last week's mass shooting on their campus, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Students and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School advocating for a change in gun control laws listen during a meeting with Sen. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, following last week's mass shooting on their campus, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
Florence Yared, 17, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, waits in a hallway to speak with Florida state legislators about legislation that could prevent future tragedies, following last week's mass shooting on their campus, in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Colin Hackley
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"I believe the political mood has changed," he said. "I think you're going to see many of the people who are normally less animated who want the gun reform measures passed more animated."

 

Cuomo reiterated statements in recent days that the country needs more than just "incremental changes" like the talk on the federal level of increasing the age that someone can purchase a firearm to 21 and outlawing bumpstock devices like the one used in last year's Las Vegas mass shooting.

He said he believes the Republicans nationally and in New York could be vulnerable if they don't take up real gun reforms.

"If the Republicans think they're going to score political points by being against gun reform, they're making a terrible mistake," Cuomo said. "I think this November they're going to pay a price."

Cuomo again called on the congressional Democrats to put forward a full-throated gun reform measure that would ban assault weapons, strengthen background check requirements by closing gun show and other loopholes, and create a national mental health data base.

 

"We should not allow the national Republicans to frame the discussion around incremental change," he said.

Meanwhile, Cuomo again downplayed a package of four gun control bills state Senate Democrats tried to bring to the floor for a vote on Wednesday only to see the effort beaten back by the Republican majority.

Cuomo said while the state can enact some more gun changes, the real issue is on the federal level since guns continue to flow into New York from the south.

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