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Maloney, Velázquez Host Town Hall On Gun Safety Reform

Source: Queens Gazette

On April 7 Congress Members Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Nydia Velázquez (NY-7) joined gun violence prevention advocates and New York City students and residents for a town hall on gun safety reform. The community had the opportunity to ask questions and share their concerns.  The panel included Keyla Abreu, a senior at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice high school; Sonni Munn, Moms Demand Action; Shaina Harrison, Program Director at New Yorkers Against Gun Violence; Juan Ramos, Executive Director at Los Sures Safe Horizons; and Jennifer Grad, pediatric resident physician at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. 

 “Gun safety reforms should be at the top of Congress’ to-do list. While the GOP refuses to stand up to the NRA, children’s lives are being cut short due to their inaction. We need more than thoughts and prayers—we also need action. Congress needs listen to the American people and act to keep our children, and all Americans, safe,” Rep. Maloney said.

More than 7,000 children have been killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, Maloney noted.

“Gun violence is a scourge on our nation and further inaction is morally unacceptable,” said Rep. Velázquez. “From mass shootings in Parkland, Las Vegas and Pulse to gun violence on the streets of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, New Yorkers and all Americans are saying ‘enough is enough.’ A new movement is building and I believe the public will demand from Congress meaningful steps to finally address this public health epidemic.”

Maloney has long supported sensible gun safety reforms, starting with her support of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, named for President Reagan’s press secretary, Jim Brady, who suffered grievous injuries in the assassination attempt on the President. That law provides for background checks for most handgun purchases, and has stopped thousands of dangerous individuals from buying firearms.

Since that historic legislation, Maloney has pushed several key bills to crack down on gun violence. Her proposals would make gun trafficking a felony, allow and fund federal public health agencies to conduct research into gun safety, close the gun show loophole, support innovative “smart gun” technology, enable the ATF and FBI to conduct necessary efficacy reviews of our background check system, and reinstate an Obama-era rule to keep guns out of the hands of those incapable of handling their own personal affairs. She has also cosponsored legislation to require universal background checks, limit the number of rounds in magazine clips, and renew the expired assault weapons ban.

Velázquez has long been a proponent of tougher gun laws. Most recently she has authored legislation to crack down on the “Iron Pipeline” phenomenon of guns being shipped illegally into New York from states with more permissive gun laws.  She has also authored a measure to fund Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research on gun violence, something the NRA has opposed for decades. Velázquez is also the cosponsor of bills to implement universal background checks, ban assault weapons, and prohibit high capacity magazines.  

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