NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo both said Sunday that President Donald Trump’s budget proposal cuts millions of dollars from existing background check systems and would make it harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
Schumer said Sunday that after Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, it would be dangerous to undermine gun background checks.
“Another act of senseless violence, another gun shooting in a school,” Schumer said. “It’s just too much already.”
Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2019 was released Monday, before the shooting that killed 17.
Schumer says the proposed budget cuts $12 million from federal programs that help states and localities maintain records on who is ineligible to purchase firearms.
“At a time when gun shootings are on the increase, to actually cut back on the NICS system system is appalling,” New York’s senior senator said. “Lives will be lost if they cut the funding to NICS.”
It amounts to a 16 percent cut from $73 million to $61 million. Schumer says the proposal would hurt “one of the only firewalls” now in place to stop dangerous people from buying guns.
Cuomo also released a statement slamming the Trump administration, saying in the wake of the Florida school shooting Washington had already “responded with the same appalling complacency and inaction it provided to the hundreds of mass shootings that have devastated our country since Sandy Hook.” Twenty children and six educators were killed in a massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2014.
“Now, instead of taking action to keep our children safe, President Trump is trying to make it easier for individuals who commit serious crimes and those who are dangerously mentally ill to buy guns. It’s as shocking as it is dangerous,” Cuomo continued in the statement. “The President’s proposed budget slashes critical funding that states like New York use to strengthen background reporting on potential gun buyers. This reckless measure would undermine the very safeguards that protect us and put the American people in harm’s way.”
Cuomo said New York state was doing “the exact opposite.”
“Following the Sandy Hook massacre, we actually did something and passed the strongest gun safety law in the nation. As of December 2017, 75,000 people deemed to be dangerously mentally ill by a licensed mental health professional have been added to a database to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” Cuomo said in the statement. “This year, we are taking new steps to keep guns away from dangerous people by proposing to remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)