Politicians are hesitant to call for stricter gun laws even after national tragedies like last week’s shooting in Colorado
July 23, 2012New York state politicians are taking action to make microstamping a priority in light of the shooting in Colorado and the gun violence plaguing New York City this summer. Assemblywoman Grace Meng, D-Flushing, invited her colleague Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, D-Great Neck, to join her in calling for immediate action on the steps of Queens Borough Hall on July 16.
The legislators were also joined by Sen. Jose Peralta, D-Jackson Heights, who is the Senate sponsor of microstamping legislation and a member of the Crime Victims, Crime & Correction committee in the Senate. The three representatives asked fellow legislators to join the 80 New York state police departments and law enforcement agencies that already support microstamping.
Meng, who is currently a candidate for Congress in Queens, delivered a speech asking state and federal elected officials to make microstamping a priority.
The call to action was made in reaction to the great increase in gun violence in New York City in the past several weeks. Earlier this month, 77 shootings were recorded in just a one-week span. A bill to require microstamping passed the Assembly last month, but it died in the Senate under pressure from conservative lawmakers and Second Amendment rights groups.
The movie theater shooting in Colorado four days later only brings more attention to their cause.
Peralta said the shooting is a testament to the need for laws to control gun violence.
"The tragedy underscores the fact that depriving police and prosecutors of tools to prevent gun violence and failing to more sensibly limit access to firearms is not some sort of affirmation of the Second Amendment. It is instead a guarantee of more bloodshed," said Peralta.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-Mineola, also stands with Meng, Schimel, and Peralta on the need for greater control over gun violence. Before she was elected to Congress, her husband was shot in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad. This tragedy, which greatly affected her family, has driven her to put an end to gun violence during her time in office.
"The horrific nightmare of a mass shooting on innocent civilians in a crowded public place has, sadly, come true once again," said McCarthy. "I mourn alongside the people of Aurora for the many killed and injured and the countless family and friends whose lives, as a result of the consequences of this event, will be negatively affected for decades to come."
Microstamping involves inscribing the firing pin of a weapon with numbers and letters signifying the make and model of a gun. When fired, the alpha numeric code is transferred to the shell casing, which is often the only evidence left at the scene of a crime. Proponents of microstamping say law enforcement can then use the shell casing to track the weapon that fired the round and identify a suspect in the crime.
"The shooter should be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But we as a nation should also not continue to ignore avenues to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future," McCarthy said.