Set the Record Straight on Illegal Guns

December 15, 2005
The Senate Majority and Governor Pataki have recently attacked the Assembly Majority for not passing legislation to close a loophole that allows criminals to possess illegal guns. The Senate Majority Leader said Tuesday on a radio show that his house passed S.4052 this year which would close this loophole, and that the Assembly Majority has failed to allow an up-or-down vote in their house. This statement is a bold-face lie – not only did the Assembly pass legislation closing this dangerous loophole, but S.4052 never went to the Senate floor for a vote. The people of New York deserve the truth and while the Senate Majority play politics to hide their support for the NRA’s pro-gun positions, the public and law enforcement officials continue to be put at risk.

As a 25-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police, I spent eight years as a narcotics officer. I know first hand the challenges police officers face and have seen how severe the problem of illegal guns on our streets can be. This is why I sponsored a bill (A.2345) that passed the Assembly on May 25 to close the very loophole the Assembly Majority is being criticized for – over the objections of 30 Assembly Minority members.

The Senate Majority has spent years ignoring their responsibility to protect the public and law enforcement officials from gun crimes and is now trying to change public perception of their party as beholden to the NRA by attacking the Assembly Majority as “soft on crime.” They are using a broad brush to paint the issue of illegal gun trafficking as a general position on all crime issues, when in fact the Assembly passed a broad package of bills to protect our communities from guns – none of which have been acted on in the Senate. Included in this package of legislation were bills I supported that would prevent convicted felons from obtaining a firearm (A.1170) and ban exploding and armor piercing ammunition (A.2837). In addition, I sponsored a bill that passed the Assembly this year which would ban the military-style .50-caliber rifle, a weapon that many homeland security experts want banned, that can blast through an inch of steel from twenty football fields away with dead accuracy (A.4471).

None of these bills passed in the Senate. Why? Maybe it’s because the NRA has contributed $55,000 to the Senate Majority for their vote against this kind of legislation. Twenty-nine Senate Majority members received an NRA grade of at least an “A,” with five getting a score of “A+.”

I urge residents to check the facts and it will be clear that the Senate Majority is trying to spin the truth and play politics with people’s lives. They have been bought by the NRA and our families deserve better than that. Families deserve more than rhetoric from their representatives, they deserve common sense anti-gun laws that will keep their loved ones safe. Therefore I call on the Senate and Governor to follow the Assembly’s lead and help rid our streets of gun violence.