Politicians call for emergency Senate vote to pass gun laws

Campos Plaza tenant leader Dereese Huff joined, from left, state Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and state Senate Democratic nominee Brad Hoylman as they called for a special session in the state Senate to pass new gun control laws. Photo by Sam Spokony

BY SAM SPOKONY  |  In the wake of a recent shooting outside an East Village housing complex, local lawmakers gathered alongside community leaders last Friday to call for a special legislative session aimed at passing statewide gun control measures that would make New York’s gun laws the strongest in the country.

At the heart of that argument was a bill requiring the use of a new techonology called microstamping, which passed the state Assembly in June but has been held up by the state Senate’s Republican majority since being introduced in 2011.

State Senator Daniel Squadron, one of the sponsors of the microstamping bill, as well as other currently stalled gun control legislation, led a press conference outside Campos Plaza at E. 12th St. and Avenue C — the site of the shooting — to call for the emergency Senate vote, while also condemning gun industry lobbyists. The Oct. 1 shooting injured one man and is still being investigated.

“There’s no issue more important than this right now,” Squadron said, “and we need to pass these basic, commonsense laws that would make our streets safer.”

Microstamping uses lasers to stamp a numeric code onto bullet shell casings, theoretically making it easier for police to track individual casings left at a crime scene back to the gun — and the shooter — that fired them. The scheme has been met with strong opposition from Second Amendment advocates across the nation, and in recent months some major gun manufacturers have threatened to leave New York if statewide legislation requiring the new technology were to pass.

California is currently the only state to have passed a microstamping law, but it is not actually in use there because, since 2007, the law has been held up on technicalities.

“The gun lobby opposes this because they believe any law that places restrictions on any gun seller or purchaser is a bad law, and we’ve seen the violent effects of that thinking over and over again,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, a sponsor of various statewide gun control measures, at Friday’s press conference. “People who oppose these laws need to stop victimizing communities at the behest of a wealthy industry, one that basically pays for the kind of violence that we see every day on streets like this.”

But Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, attempted to cast doubts on the new technology’s effectiveness while accusing Squadron and his supporters of grandstanding in the wake of the East Village shooting.

“These lawmakers are misrepresenting the whole issue,” King said. “If Squadron and the others were actually interested in keeping people safe, they would spend more time making sure that the state’s current antigun laws are being enforced, and that gun criminals are given the maximum prison sentences.”

The gun advocate also claimed that microstamping simply “doesn’t work,” and that any legislation requiring it would have a negative impact on licensed, law-abiding gun owners.

Squadron stressed on Friday that implementing the new technology — as well as passing other gun control measures, like an expansion of the current assault weapons ban and a limit on the number of firearms someone can purchase per month — would not affect licensed hunters or other lawful gun owners, and that micro- stamping would cause the price of each gun to increase by no more than $12.

“There’s a real need for it, and claims about excessive cost are irrational,” said Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “The system we use now only gives us about a 2 percent chance of identifying the gun for a given shell casing, and microstamping would make that process at least 25 times more effective.”

Advocates on both sides of the issue have presented various “expert” studies that either support or discredit microstamping technology, which was invented in the 1990s by an engineer named Todd Lizotte.

Hilly was citing a study published in the spring by Iowa State University’s Ames Laboratory — in collaboration with Lizotte himself — showing that micro- stamping could be up to 97 percent effective in some cases.

The New York Police Department did not respond by press time to a request for comment on the issue of microstamping and other gun control measures.

At Friday’s press conference, Dereese Huff, Campos Plaza Tenant Association president, implored lawmakers to heed Squadron’s call for a special session and quickly pass gun control legislation.

“Our children and family members are dying from the violence. How long should we continue to bury our own families and friends?” Huff asked the gathering. “As a tenant leader, I see the pain and fear in the faces of my fellow residents. I hope that our lawmakers hear our voices, our chorus of pain, and act quickly to protect us from the dangers of uncontrolled gun sales.”

But after speaking to the public, Huff told this newspaper that what she wants most of all is the increased police presence that public housing tenants have been seeking for years, alongside other security measures, like surveillance cameras and functioning locks on the buildings’ front doors.

These concerns have been highlighted multiple times over the past year, as the New York City Housing Authority continues to sit on $42 million of taxpayer money specifically earmarked for security upgrades. NYCHA is also the only landlord in the city required to pay for policing its property, and has paid more than $70 million annually for those services since 1994, as the result of a memorandum of understanding with the N.Y.P.D.

An unexpected presence on Friday was that of Brad Hoylman, the Democratic candidate for the state Senate seat soon to be vacated by Tom Duane. Hoylman spoke at the press conference, even though he will not officially take the seat — he is running unopposed — until Jan. 1, 2013.

“It would be great to pass these bills before you have a chance to vote on them, by going for a special session,” Squadron told Hoylman. “But if we can’t, I know you’re going to be one of the leaders once you get to Albany.”

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54 Responses to Politicians call for emergency Senate vote to pass gun laws

  1. Micro- stamping DOSE NOT WORK! Why do these semi retarded fear mongers keep push for a empty bill that dose nothing to stop gun violence? Micro- stamping can be disabled by anybody with a set of fingernail clippers. If it was really about saving lives the first thing this woman would do is require a breathalyzer in every new car made. That would save life's instead of trying to pass meaningless laws that do nothing besides fool people that there making a difference. This lady needs to be replace with someone who has a clue!

  2. Brendan, you cannot fix stupid. It is really time to give up this tired old fight and leave this state of ours governed by naive concrete blocks heads from Manhattan. Enough already!

  3. Please, stop using the word Retarded, its a filthy nasty word. There is nothing "retarded" about complete ignorance of these people. You demean a whole subset of people, who, through no fault of their own are disabled and you fling it around like an epithet.

    • It IS a shame that the word has come to be so commonly used without thinking; mental retardation is a medical condition and the sufferers are not that way by choice. the libs and leftists ayholes choose to be that way. When I use the word 'libtard', the second half of the word is NOT a contraction for 'retard' – it is a contraction for 'bastard'. Thus libtard = liberal bastard.

  4. Montana_Libertarian

    The idea behind micro-stamping is that each shell casing will be marked with a unique number so that when police gather spent shell casings from a shooting scene they can trace back to the gun used in the shooting.

    The problems with this are several:

    = Revolvers do not expel spent brass; it stays in the gun.

    = It's possible to catch all the spent brass as you shoot with any gun that does expel brass. There are attachments just for this purpose already made and commonly used by shooters who don't want to bend over and pick up brass.

    = The shooting has been done by the time the brass is collected by police, so it's obvious this scheme doesn't work to prevent anything.

    = People who steal guns (that would be almost all gang bangers and criminals) won't care what the micro-stamping might reveal, since the gun trace won't come back to them.

    = The scheme only works if there is gun registration, which may be in place in NY, but is not a practical political possibility on the federal level. There is no gun registration in my state, nor will there be.

    The idea is stupid, it springs from ignorance, it will accomplish nothing. Is that the kind of folks that NY voters elect to public office?

    • The proposed Micro-stamping legislation has nothing to do with crime reduction but everything to do to continue to squeeze the law abiding gun owner into oblivion because you see "guns are evil", "criminals are products of unfortunate circumstances". The only micro-stamped spent casings that will be found in NYC are those of the untrained NYPD personnel as in the 17 rounds shot at one murderer in Times Square recently wounding innocent bystanders. Along with guns being so evil, the shooting ranges are also evil and must be closed and the NYC Finest can only practice their shooting in their bath tub.

  5. When will people wake up and realize that crimminals do not obey laws! This has been proven time and time again, and yet the anti gunners refuse to see it. Until there is a police officer available to escort us everywhere at all times, or crimes can be predicted before they happen, the alternative is to allow law abiding citizens the chance to defend themselves and others. If people choose not to stand up to crimminals, fine. Stand there quietly like good little victims, but do not for one minute think that by preventing other law abiding citizens from having the ability to protect themselves are you making things better. That train of thought has not worked out very well in any of the massacres that have taken place in "gun free zones".

  6. A simple 30 second look at the worldwide situation on gun control shows clearly that 'Gun Control' doesn't work.

    Countries with 'powerful' gun control laws, have absolutely no control over guns – Thailand, South Africa are examples – both kill more with guns than the US, where anyone can legally own a gun.

    GUN CONTROL LAWS = STUPIDITY SQUARED.

  7. I live in a State where I can carry a gun, and I carry one because a COP is way to heavy.

  8. It's the people in your own community that are "victimizing" your community, not the gun owners. What a moronic idea. There already are enough gun laws to punish the people who commit these crime.
    Micro-stamping doesn't do a damn thing towards stopping crime or solving it. All this is, is political grandstanding. . Maybe you should get the community leaders to fight the "thug culture" with it's "don't snitch" attitude first. .

  9. New York City issues are their own problems and of their own making. Almost every household in my Long Island neighborhood owns guns and the worst crimes we have seen all year thus far were a few property crimes. Do the math. We have made our concerns known to our own representatives and they are in agreement that they will do all they can to oppose any stupid worthless proposals hatched from NYC politicos. Clean up your own house before you try to clean ours!

  10. Ok , I'll bite.
    Quote: “There’s a real need for it, and claims about excessive cost are irrational,” said Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “The system we use now only gives us about a 2 percent chance of identifying the gun for a given shell casing, and microstamping would make that process at least 25 percent more effective.”

    25% more of 2% is a 2.5% chance of IDing the gun from the case is a pathetic joke.

  11. Almost all shootings are done by B lacks and Mexicans. Why don’t we just have Minority Control?

    • not called for…

      • Montana_Libertarian

        Well, leaving aside the Latino contribution to the US homicide statistics, here's how the numbers stack up for 2010, the last year for which we have all the figures:

        US population = 308.75 million
        Homicides by gun = 8,323 (that excludes justifiable killings by cops and civilians)
        Rate = 2.69 homicides per 100,000 people

        US population minus African Americans = 270.15 million
        Homicides by gun committed by non African Americans = 3903 (again, excluding justifiable killings)
        Rate = 1.44 homicides per 100,000 people

        So the homicide rate goes down dramatically if you exclude African American perpetrators. Of course, the number of African American victims is also disproportionate to their numbers in the general population, but that's irrelevant to this discussion.

        In today's politically correct climate the mere observation of the fact is bound to be derided in some quarters, but the numbers do indicate the problem of gun homicides is influenced by race.

    • A FRIGGEN MEN.

  12. Scott, you are a moron. A criminal is a criminal regardless of race. We don’t need gun control in this country, we need God in this country. We need morals and ethics to instill the love and importance of human life. And the ignorance of your statement proves that we have a long way to go.

  13. "Microstamping uses lasers to stamp a numeric code onto bullet shell casings"…

    So, the guns will have little lasers in them to mark the bullet shell casings?!? How poorly written.

    Microstamping means that a number is laser etched into the tip of the firing pin that (hopefully) will leave a readable number on the shell casing. However, a nail file will easily remove or disfigure the number on the firing pin.

    Also, there are over 300,000,000 guns in just the US that don't have this option.

    And then there is the issue of revolvers which don't drop the brass shell casing.

    Better yet, end prohibition and the drug/gang violence problem will greatly reduce.

  14. These people know micro-stamping does not work, they don't want laws that do work and they refuse to enforce laws that are in place now. It is people like Huff, Squadron, Mendez, Kavanagh and Hoylman that need to either be imprisoned, exiled or executed. They propose laws that they know will increase crime and do absolutely nothing to reduce it, all for the purpose of lining their own pockets. Until we start to punish these criminals for their evil acts disguised as legislature then crime will continue to be a problem. The problem isn't with the thug with a gun on the street, the problem is the greedy thugs in the capitols of each state and this country. And unless those thugs are eliminated the street thug will always exist and prosper, thieves protect other thieves.

  15. "Microstamping uses lasers to stamp a numeric code onto bullet shell casings, theoretically making it easier for police to track individual casings left at a crime scene back to the gun — and the shooter — that fired them."
    Excuse me? Does the writer understand what's going on?
    The above statement refers to a process that would put a serial number on the bullet at the factory BEFORE it is sold! The micro-stamping refers to an etched firing pin or slide face that will impress a serial number on the casing when the gun is fired.
    The laser process is impractical due to the heat of the laser setting of the round as well as the number tracking required of the manufacturer. It's very expensive as well.
    The micro-stamping is impractical because it is easily defeated with a diamond nail-file.
    Also, it is easy to collect empty casings at other shootings and save them "to be scattered at your next drive-by!"

    • The writer knows full well what is going on, it is the bias showing through. Everyone knows micro-stamping will never work, it isn't meant to work. It is meant to make a select few individuals very rich. Just like Solendra and other political scams.

  16. I wonder if criminals will come up with the idea of grabbing spent casings from legal firing ranges to send a false trail of bread crumbs for cops to waste their time following. Not to mention that the guns in NYC are about 90% illegal so microstamping would only be on the likely 10% held by the law biding while this won't work in crimes. Also, their is the issue of the gun manufacturers who already said they would relocate if such a law passed, since New York is already such a small market that would only serve to eliminate jobs. So go right ahead NY, the rest of the country needs an example of what not to do and why it doesn't work.

  17. Um no….

    Next?

  18. What's up with all the comments here? Clearly, this article has been cyber-bombed. NRA hi-jinks maybe. wow, there is something organized out there that is very worried that they might be doing something wrong. honest people don't need to jump so hard on something like this. seems like lame mind control

    • WuzYoungOnceToo

      Well, you certainly seem to have a lame mind. Has it been controlled yet?

      • Now dont be cruel, such missing evolutionary links between simple primates and humans have a very low intellectual capability incapable of processing facts to control their emotional outbursts as they try desperately to frighten everyone else to be afraid of their invisible, scared of the mythical boogeyman of the law abiding gun owner they have conjured up in their ill and deficient mental capacity.

    • Maybe those of us that don't want to have our rights further infringed due to the pleas of the leader of a minority of scumbags whom will kill each other in any way possible are simply tired of this rhetoric?

      Here's some rhetoric back for you: Cold dead hands. Come get 'em if you're sure this is just NRA shills and not ground-level men who won't back down. Bet you won't.

  19. You know why this hasn't hapened in Kalifornia yet? Where it is supposedly mandated by law? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK.

  20. NYC already has strict gun control. Love the key catch phrases being tossed around… "Common Sense Gun Laws" Um, really? Are people that ignorant to think that passing MORE laws and regulations will do ANYTHING to prevent criminals from acting like criminals and committing crime?

  21. These people are not using their heads at all. Obviously, criminals don't care about the law. They will be getting their weapons illegally anyway. All you are doing is disarming the people more and making it easier for them to be hurt. They need to restore the people's constitutional right to own/use a firearm in self and home defense. Watch how low gun violence drops then.

  22. *yawn* Dog bites man.

    These lefties just don't get it. The people, as in THE PEOPLE don't want any more government meddling in gun rights.

    Period.

  23. New York has been the leader in useless anti-gun legislation since 1911, when the Sullivan Law, named after Tammany assemblyman Tim Sullivan, was passed, primarily to prevent poor immigrants from obtaining the means of self-defense. Tim Sullivan died some years later, being hit by a train after escaping from an insane asylum to which he had been committed. His successors, including the current Mayor, are pretty much cut out of the same cloth.

  24. Why are these "law makers" so set on killing the several thousand jobs in the firearms industry in NY state? That is the only possible effect your continuing to push this unproven, unreliable, easily defeated, expensive, patented process, with huge potential for abuse by criminals. Remington has already stated, that if microstamping becomes law they will pack up there operation and leave NY, taking their 1000+ jobs with them. If you think the other firearms manufacturers in your state will not follow suit, you are severally mistaken. As to the potential for abuse I mentioned, what is to stop the criminal element from hanging out at gun ranges and picking up the fired, microstamped brass of the law abiding citizens who are shooting there, and spreading them around their particular crime scenes? While their own firearms having either come from a state that does not require this job killing nonsense, or being a revolver that does not eject cases, or most likely having been defaced by something as simple as a file to no longer imprint on the primer of the case. your complete lack of knowledge and common sense (did you not learn from cobis?) will surely cost your state jobs, if not your political career, not that the latter is a bad thing, we need to rid our entire political system of those of you who continue to restrict our freedoms.

  25. We see the village has found its lost idiot, out in the town square proclaiming another law that doesnt apply to felons, that wont be enforced, that wont reduce violence in any fashion, and only infringes upon the law abiding, just as the village idiot intended

  26. So are all of NYC people gonna vote for this Idiot again…I would hope not, but then again..I don't see much dirt or polls sttaing that Squadron is gonna be in trouble!!

  27. Bloomberg and his cronies have been pushing for this for years. And their obsessed on getting it passed. Never mind that it doesn't really work. And would do nothing to reduce gun violence. Which mostly involves gang related shootings,drugs,etc,etc. They will never listen to the facts. Of course their saying it will work. Based on their so called facts. They can care less that Remington would leave NY. And others will too. And all the jobs that will go with it. They know that. They would like that! Remember people,Bloomberg and all the other anti gun democrats don't like the firearm manufacturers. And would love to see them go. Because they really don't like guns! Look into their anti gun voting history. Sorry if i was a little bit off topic here. But if they end up passing Micro-stamping,they would of accomplished more than just that.

  28. Guns don't make people act like barbarians., it's a symptom of a dysfunctional subculture.

  29. "… local lawmakers gathered alongside community leaders last Friday to call for a special legislative session aimed at passing statewide gun control measures that would make New York’s gun laws the strongest in the country"

    I think you mean it would make "New York's gun laws the WORST and MOST USELESS in the country".

    Fixed it for ya.

  30. I really wish NYC would stop trying to inflict itself and its stupid policies on the rest of the state.

    If you want to make yourselves all defenseless and at the mercy of criminals, knock yourself out.

    I'd prefer to keep my guns and see criminals swinging from the nearest gallows at the end of a rope.

    • I wish NYC would stop trying to inflict itself and its stupid policies on the rest of the nation. Bloomberg should do something about failed NYC policies and stop blaming everyone else.

  31. Just vote the Liberials out of office, donate and join the NRA and fight for your rights! What is next in NYC…banning knives? When this BS is introduced by the Liberals I purchase and other firearm, 60 round cilp for my AR-15 or lots of bullets and reloading supplies. I would suggest joining a pro-gun outfit become active in grassroot activities hit the Politicians were it hurts them "Vote" them out!!!

    Do you see the Obama in them? I sure do so for all of the pro-gun persons in New York I will buy three 100 round clips for my AR-15 and donate $100.00 to the NRA.

  32. Well, why not? There are only 22,417 restrictive gun laws in force. Of those, not even one has ever reduced violent crime. In fact, New York’s Sullivan Law increased New York’s homicide and violent crime numbers enough to raise the United States homicide rate by more than on full point. And our violent crime rates by five full points.

    If you really want 200 homicides per 100,000 residents, just like Caracas, pass a really rigid gun control law. But if you want to reduce New York’s homicide and violent crime rates to below the American norm, you will have to change plans.

    Repeal the Sullivan Law – and copy the gun laws of low crime states, such as Vermont. And while you are at it, kill the Compstat system and start reporting all of Gotham’s crimes to the FBI.

    Stranger

  33. Well, at LEAST thank God no victims were beaten senseless with illegally large cups of Big Gulp! Common sense beverage laws are working.

  34. Are YOU just plain STUPID??? Criminals do NOT get their guns legally!!! All YOU are doing is DEPRIVING law abidding citizens from being able to PROTECT(!!!!) themselves!!! Maybe if YOU lined in THEIR neighborhoods, or lived WITHOUT security you would find that HONEST, Law Abidding citizens have been DEPRIVED of weapons to fight back – BECAUSE OF YOU!!!

  35. Most bad guys steal their ammo as well as the gun they use……how's this supposed to help?

  36. If you want to know how pointless microstamping is, take a few minutes and Google "M16 firing pin nail." It shows how easy it is to make an un-marked replacement for a micro-engraved firing pin. In fact, a gangbanger contemplating a drive-by murder could easily replace his micro-stamped firing pin with a home-made replacement, do the crime, then re-insert the original firing pin and actually have proof that he COULDN'T have committed the crime with that gun. Does anyone actually doubt that criminals would figure this out?

  37. Typical liberal stupidity. How about enforcing the laws you currently have? The original intend of anti gun laws passed by democrats was to prevent blacks from owning guns and thats what it appears the democrats want to do again. The circle of racism by the democrats and leftiests in america is almost complete.

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