State Legislators Against Illegal Guns Elects Co-Chairs
February 7, 2012
Albany, NY - Today, the New York State Chapter of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG NY) held its first meeting of 2012 and announced the election of Senator Eric Adams, Assemblymember Michelle Schimel, and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh as Co-Chairs of the group’s Steering Committee. SLAIG NY is a bipartisan coalition of over 50 members of the New York State Legislature. SLAIG is planning to hold additional educational forums, meetings, and other events throughout the year. The group is committed to working together to find innovative ways to prevent illegal gun violence. Senator Adams said, “Access to illegal weapons threatens our present and our future. SLAIG is an important part of our work toward the elimination of senseless gun violence.” “We all have a shared responsibility to do everything we can to keep illegal guns out of our communities,” said Assemblymember Kavanagh. “Achieving this will require innovative legislation and engagement among residents of our communities, advocates, law enforcement, and elected officials at all levels of government. I’m proud my colleagues who care about ending illegal gun violence have elected Senator Adams, Assemblymember Schimel, and me to lead this organization. As legislators and New Yorkers, we are ready to get to work.” Assemblywoman Schimel said, “I am honored to be selected as a co-chair of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns. The primary responsibility of government is to protect its citizens from harm. There can be no economic justice or a fair demonstration of economic development in a community where people do not feel safe. My goal has always been to reduce gun violence in New York State through education, legislation, and advocacy.” “Keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals is a top priority for the City of New York. We are grateful to the members and leaders of SLAIG for leading the charge on this crucial issue, and we look forward to partnering with them to pass laws that save lives,” said Micah C. Lasher, Director of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of State Legislative Affairs. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said, “Assemblywoman Schimel has been a strong ally in the ongoing fight against illegal guns. I know that she and Senator Adams and Assemblymember Kavanagh will do outstanding work as co-chairs of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns, and I look forward to working with them to end the scourge of gun violence that continues to plague our communities.” Richard Aborn, President of Citizens Crime Commission said, “SLAIG plays an important role in the coordinated fight for sensible laws against illegal guns. With Congress increasingly deadlocked by partisanship, the role of state legislatures is integral to oppose the loosening of our gun laws. I am proud that New York State is leading the charge on public safety.” ABOUT SLAIG NY Steering Committee: In addition to co-chairs Senator Eric Adams, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, and Assemblymember Michelle Schimel, the SLAIG NY Steering Committee includes Assemblymember Karim Camara, Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assemblymember Steven Englebright, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblymember Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee, Senator Jack Martins, Assemblymember Tom McKevitt, Assemblymember Amy Paulin, Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stoke, Senator Bill Perkins, Assemblymember Phil Ramos, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, and Senator José Serrano. Principles: SLAIG NY works to: (a) hold accountable irresponsible gun dealers who break the law; (b) promote measures that responsible gun retailers can adopt to minimize the risk of guns ending up in the hands of criminals; (c) oppose efforts to restrict the rights of cities, counties, and states to access, use, and share trace data that is so essential to effective enforcement; (d) oppose efforts to interfere with the ability of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to combat illegal gun trafficking; (e) support common-sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals; (f) ensure that all gun sales involve background checks that access all available information about persons prohibited from buying guns; (g) develop and use technologies that aid in the detection and apprehension of illegal gun criminals and traffickers; (h) pursue local, state, and federal legislation; coordinate criminal, administrative, and civil enforcement; and share information and best practices that target illegal guns; and (i) punish, to the maximum extent of the law, criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns.