Yesterday the Legislature came to a three-way agreement that gives law enforcement officials the help they need to get illegal guns off the street. As 25-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, I spent 8 years as a narcotics officer and I have seen first hand the devastating impact gun violence has on communities. That is why I believe this legislation will be an effective deterrent for crime by increasing penalties for those who injure or kill a police officer and those who are trafficking illegal guns. We need to send a message to violent criminals that their behavior will have swift, severe consequences.
While this is a productive first step I am disappointed that the NRA was able to pressure the Senate and governor into not including a ban of “cop-killer” bullets in this legislation. Over 140 police and sheriff’s departments across the state support this common-sense measure − but the Senate has repeatedly failed to act.
This type of armor-piercing ammunition can cut through a bullet-proof vest used by police officers yet the governor and Senate continue to block its passage. Another piece of legislation the Senate fails to vote on is one that would prohibit convicted felons from obtaining a firearm.
One has to ask why the governor and Senate refuse to adopt these common-sense anti-crime measures that would protect our families from gun violence. Maybe it is because the NRA has contributed $55,000 to Senate Majority for their vote against this kind of legislation. If we are going to protect our communities from further gun violence, the governor and Senate must stop taking their marching orders from the NRA and work with the Assembly to take the necessary steps to ending the senseless gun violence on our streets.