Maloney Hosts Gun Safety Town Hall with Moms Demand Action
NEW YORK, NY – On Sunday, August 25, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined with Moms Demand Action to host a townhall-like event to discuss solutions to combat the United States’ gun violence epidemic. The event, held at The Café at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island, drew participants from all three boroughs. Rep. Maloney represents parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens in the US House of Representatives.
The group of concerned New Yorkers discussed various solutions to help curb gun violence, including recognizing the importance of New York State’s recently implemented red flag law. This new law enables law enforcement officers, school officials and family members to request that an individual be forced to turn over any firearms if the court deems them a threat to themselves or others. There has been a movement across the nation pushing for bills like these so that when people see something and then say something, results happen.
Also on the agenda were the numerous other actions that the US Congress can and should be taking to fight out nation’s gun violence epidemic.
“It is outrageous that Mitch McConnell continues to sit idly by and refuse a vote on a proposal nearly 90 percent of Americans support: better, more complete, universal background checks for gun purchases. The Senate needs to take up the House passed bills – H.R.8 and H.R.1112 immediately,” said Rep. Maloney.
The Congresswoman spoke to the group about the bills she’s authored to address gun safety – including measures to repeal the Dickey Amendment and fund gun violence research and to address gun trafficking.
The Dickey Amendment, adopted in 1996, has been used to block any federal funding from contributing to gun violence research even though former Congressman Jay Dickey (R-AR) has said this was not his intention. The Congresswoman has been working with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to pass legislation to not only repeal this ridiculous amendment but to also fund gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis and we need to start treating it that way,” said Rep. Maloney. “Just as we would study any other epidemic that takes 100 lives a day, nearly 40,000 in 2018, we need to study firearms safety and gun violence prevention. This legislation can save lives by finally giving our nation’s top public health researchers the funding they need to develop new ways to prevent gun violence.”
And while that proposal might face an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate, the Congresswoman also has a bipartisan gun safety bill with neighbor New York Republican Congressman Pete King.
The Maloney-King bill, the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act of 2019, would make firearms trafficking a federal felony and impose stronger penalties for “straw purchasers” who buy guns for convicted felons and others who are prohibited from buying guns on their own. The members have been working on similar legislation together since 2013.
“This is bipartisan legislation that can save lives by giving law enforcement the tools it needs and has asked for to combat gun trafficking and straw purchases,” said Rep. Maloney. “For years, law enforcement has been asking Congress to make gun trafficking a federal felony and to impose harsher penalties on straw purchases who buy guns for those who are not allowed to buy guns on their own. This bill answers those calls and treats gun trafficking and straw purchases as the dangerous acts they are in order to prevent more senseless gun violence.”
The bill would tackle the so-called “iron pipeline” of guns that flows from southern states with more lax gun laws to the Mideast and Northeast states that have stricter gun controls. According to the NY Attorney General’s office, 74% of guns used in crimes in New York came from out of state.
Congresswoman Maloney assured the group that she will continue to do all she can in Congress to move forward with these proposals and asked everyone to keep up the incredible work they’ve been doing on the ground in NY and across the country to keep the conversation focused on what we can do prevent gun violence.