NEW YORK, NY - Flanked by a coalition of anti-gun violence activists and state legislators, Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) commemorated the Sandy Hook Anniversary at a rally on the City Hall Steps in Manhattan on Thursday by highlighting the tough new gun control laws passed on the first day of this year’s legislative session and by calling on other states and the federal government to adopt strong measures. The rally followed news earlier in the week that a report released by the Brady Campaign and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence had bumped New York’s gun safety rating up from a “B” to an “A-."
Majority State Senate Coalition Leader Jeff Klein said, “In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, I knew we could not afford to wait any longer for tough new gun laws. We needed a comprehensive, no-nonsense approach to combating gun violence. That’s why on the first day of the legislative session, I led the charge to pass some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. With the support of groups like New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Million Mom March and the Brady Campaign, we have sent the message that New York will not tolerate gun violence.
“One year after Sandy Hook, the need for tougher federal gun control laws remains as urgent as ever. While New York is tackling gun violence on multiple fronts, we remain vulnerable to lax gun laws in surrounding states. To keep gun violence off our streets and out of schools, I strongly urge other states to adopt tough anti-gun violence measures.”
Last week, Senator Klein responded to remarks from Tom King, President of the NYS Rifle & Pistol Association, charging that the recent drop in gun-related deaths in New York was due in no part to the implementation of the SAFE Act. Klein said: “Tom King's recent remarks on the NY SAFE Act are insulting to all New Yorkers who understand we need smart gun control laws. That is why I was proud to sponsor this landmark legislation in the Senate. As a downstate legislator from the Bronx, I've seen first-hand the devastation and tragedy wrought by past gun crimes in New York…”
King then claimed Klein’s SAFE Act had “made it more made it more difficult for women to have access to the best and most effective means of personal protection.” Senator Klein immediately responded that “every credible statistic proves that smart gun control legislation like the SAFE Act effectively reduces gun crimes.”
In the 2013 budget, Senator Klein successfully fought for $3 million in funding for anti-gun violence programs. This year, $250,000 in funding will be used to implement Operation SNUG, an anti-gun violence program with a proven record of success, for the first time in the Bronx.