New York City voters have a different relationship with guns than those in the rest of the country. While standing up for gun control legislation could torpedo a campaign in the Midwest, the South, even Upstate New York,
With public safety foremost on the minds of New Yorkers this year, it's no surprise, then, that it's about to become a centerpiece issue of a city-based campaign.
On Monday afternoon, Assemblywoman Grace Meng took a strong position in favor of gun control and microstamping legislation, which would make it easier to tie handgun shell casings left at crime scenes to the weapons used.
“Oftentimes, the only evidence left behind at the scene of a shooting are bullet shell casings," Meng said. "By finally passing microstamping legislation on the state and national levels, we can begin to deter violent crimes associated with guns, make our streets and neighborhoods safer, and more easily track down and bring criminals to justice. It’s the least we can do for our men and women in blue who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe."
In addition to pushing for the microstamping legislation, Meng's promised congressional initiatives include some tall orders, including background checks for every firearm sale, increasing the ability of judges to remand weapons for incarcerated individuals and more.
Nearly every initiative Meng said she would push for has been hammered by the National Rifle Association as trampling on Second Amendment rights.
The Flushing Assemblywoman was joined by fellow legislators Jose Peralta, Michelle Schimel and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who praised Meng for taking a stand.
"This July has already experienced a horrible weekend of gun violence that results in 16 killings in 18 shootings across the city," Marshall noted.
UPDATE, Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.: Meng's Republican opponent in the race for NY-6, City Councilman Dan Halloran, said microstamping legislation should take a back seat to increasing police funding in the city.
"We're in danger every day if we don't fund the NYPD and let the police do their jobs," Halloran said. "I want to put more cops on the streets and give them the resources they need to fight crime. That's what will make New York safer."