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      Albany area lawmaker likens Cuomo to dictators criticizing gun law passage, apologizes

      A Republican lawmaker from upstate New York has apologized for likening Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the dictators Hitler and Mussolini while criticizing how new, stricter gun laws were pushed through the Legislature last month.

      Assemblyman Steven McLaughlin from suburban Albany made the remarks Tuesday morning at a news conference with fellow Republicans proposing to limit a governor's constitutional power to expedite votes on certain legislation.

      He said the World War II-era strongmen and Russia's Vladimir Putin would have been "proud" of how the Democratic governor and legislative leaders quickly passed the gun measures.

      The comments drew sharp reactions, including Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's spokesman saying they were "highly offensive and beneath a member of the State Legislature."

      McLaughlin later issued a video saying he'd called Cuomo to apologize. Cuomo's office had no comment.

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