With criticism over the speed with which New York’s new gun control law passed in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Rochester today defended the decision to speed the measure through the Legislature.

“Anyone who says there’s been no discussion of gun control has been living on a different planet for decades,” Cuomo said during a reporter question and answer session. “There is nothing in this bill that hasn’t been discussed for years and years and years.”

The package passed by the Assembly and Senate required a message of necessity from Cuomo in order to waive a required three-day aging process. Cuomo on Monday said the need to pass it quickly partly arose from a run on gun stores.

And today he said the move was needed in order to show government was responding to the spate of shootings across the country, including the killing of 20 children in Connecticut and in Webster, in which an arsonist shot and killed two firefighters.

“How many people have to die before government acts? How many more families have to grieve before government acts? How many more Websters have to happen before government acts? How many more Newtown Connecticuts have to happen before government acts? In my opinion, enough innocent people have lost their lives, something has to be done, someone has to speak up for them also,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo’s message has been criticized by both Republican lawmakers in Albany and good-governmnet advocates, who believed a public airing of the bills specifics was needed before it was voted on.

The governor, who held his ceremonial bill signing as President Obama was detailing his own plans for gun control, was in Rochester in part because of its vicinity to Webster, a community that is still reeling from the shooting.

“There’s special signifcance,” he said. “This law has something we call the Webster provision because it would impose life without parole for someone convicted of murdering a first respodner. Although the pain will never go away in many ways and the families are in our prayers we want the people to know we understand what happened in Webster. It informed our discussion and the first responders who put their lives on the line everyday should be protected.”

Cuomo also dismissed the threat of lawsuits to overturn the bill, saying “we tend to be a litigous society.”

The governor plans to hold similar events around the state.