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NY lawmakers say recent gun violence highlights the need for tighter gun laws

By Andrea Prusik
Staff writer

Politicians are hesitant to call for stricter gun laws even after national tragedies like last week’s shooting in Colorado
July 23, 2012
New 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.

  1. print email
    Democrats Against Microstamping
    July 23, 2012 | 03:09 PM

    This article reeks of manipulation. What could microstamping possibly have to do with the atrocity in Colorado? Further, I object to the characterization that "conservative lawmakers" oppose this moronic legislation, which ignores several realities (e.g. revolvers keep their spent shells). There are many of us on the other side of the aisle---including several Members of Assembly--who regard the push for microstamping as a waste of time; count me as one of them.

    Mark T Hoops
  2. print email
    July 23, 2012 | 03:53 PM

    Not going to happen. Stop waisting everyones time with your constant rant about this technology that won't help one bit. Except in your own minds.

    jim longuillo
  3. print email
    July 23, 2012 | 04:27 PM

    So tell me how microstamping (if it even worked for anything) prevents mass shootings.

    Carl K
  4. print email
    Microstamping Fail
    July 23, 2012 | 09:52 PM

    How would microstamping have prevented the Colorado tragedy?

    Not one bit. However, nothing like a politician to not pass up a tragedy to push an agenda!

    Leonard Locke
  5. print email
    July 24, 2012 | 07:21 AM

    Dear NY anti-gunners: How much more strict, aside from total repeal of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, will satisfy you? NyC already has some of the most prohibitive firearms laws on the books, but NYC crime has increased 28% in the very recent past.

    As to Rep McCarthy's husband being killed on the train, were not most of the restrictive laws already on the books.

    You folks have had it all wrong, for almost a century now. GUN CONTROL doesn't work. If you want to do something about crime, stop roadblocking the Rights of New York citizens, and restore the God-given RIGHT to self defense. NOW.

    TSgt B
  6. print email
    Microstamping & Gun Control
    July 24, 2012 | 05:01 PM

    Microstamping has been proven to be ineffective, with only mediocre results under lab conditions. Nor would it would have made any difference whatsoever in the Aurora shootings, as the (alleged) perpetrator was picked up immediately.
    Greater gun control will make no difference either: witness the shooting murder of twelve people in Whitehaven, England just two years ago. The perpetrator in that case happened to be an old friend of mine, who showed no signs of instability & accomplished his acts with a .22rimfire rifle & a sawn off double barrel shotgun.
    The best & only defence against these acts is for the potential victims to be armed & better yet, for those minded to carry out such an act to KNOW their target isn't defenceless.

    Mike the Limey
  7. print email
    July 25, 2012 | 10:41 PM

    What if microstamping solves only one crime? What if the victim of that crime was a member of your family or one of your friends. If it is ineffective, what is there to fear or fuss about? The few dollars in may add to the cost of a gun? Legal and responsible gun owners have nothing to fear. Reference hew and cry over regulations related to seat belt use, cell phone use when driving, blood tests for marriage licenses, etc.

    T. Hall
  8. print email
    July 30, 2012 | 12:19 PM

    77 shootings in NYC in one week? NYC has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation and they're not working. Does anyone think that those 77 shooting were done with registered guns? Or by law abiding citizens? Microstamping will be no more effective than COBIS and even easier to defeat. Criminals will simply get their guns from out of state, use pre-microstamped guns, and deface the stamp mechanism--yes they are that clever.

    Bill F
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