Elected officials, gun regulation advocates and victims of gun violence met Thursday on the steps of City Hall to call for stronger laws surrounding firearms in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
More than 55 New York State legislators were joined by Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and victims of gun violence to advocate for change. Together, they presented a letter to legislative leaders urging them to pass a state plan to reduce gun violence.
“Are we at the tipping point on gun control? Can twenty babies and six dedicated teachers’ lives change the political equation on strengthening gun laws in New York State and America? I hope so. New York State must be a leader on this issue. My constituents are demanding a plan. We have a plan,” Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, D-16.
Schimel was joined by her fellow co-chairs of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns Senator Eric Adams, D-20 and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, D-74 in calling for change.
The plan calls for the passing of measures including: requiring universal background checks on the sale of all guns; strengthen assault weapons ban; strenghten high capacity ammunition magazine ban; requiring microstamping to help law enforcement solve gun crimes; and requiring gun licenses to be renewed every five years.
The plan also calls for improving gun dealer regulations, regulating ammunition sales and limiting personal gun purchases to one firearm a month.
"Numerous incidents throughout the year and most recently the massacre in Newtown, Conn. makes it quite evident that gun violence is very prevalent in New York City and across the nation," said Adams. "As legislators, we must collaborate on solutions to make our City a safer place. We have the duty to protect our citizens from the disastrous effects of gun violence."
Adams, who has said the Second Amendment does not prevent a "reasonable regulation of guns," is also organizing a protest against gun violence to be held on the Brooklyn Bridge this Sunday.