Local Officials Back Call For Federal Gun Laws

Rockland officials support Rep. Nita Lowey’s push for Congress to pass universal background checks for gun owners and other “commonsense measures”


Rockland County officials and community members stood by Representative Nita Lowey’s side on Thursday as she urged Congress to pass gun control legislation. County and municipal officials said they supported her call for a bipartisan collaboration to approve laws requiring universal background checks for gun ownership, eliminating the gun show loophole and banning high capacity magazines and reinstating the ban on assault weapons.

“These are commonsense measures but we need to make sure these commonsense measures are part of the law,” she said. 

Lowey shared a statistic about the number of deaths occurring daily from guns.

“Every day an average of 34 people are killed because of gun violence that could be prevented with commonsense changes in federal law,” she said.

Local officials shared their viewpoints on gun control during the press conference at Haverstraw Village Hall.

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said New York’s new gun control laws would not be effective if other states do not follow suit. 

“Without a national response to gun control, local rules are almost meaningless,” he said, and then thanked Congresswoman Lowey for her push for federal legislation. 

Haverstraw Village Mayor Michael Kohut said, “It’s mindboggling to me that I could own an AK-47 or another assault weapon.”

Visiting an elementary school classroom and reading to the young students earlier in the morning reinforced Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee’s feeling that a nationwide response was the only effective way to control gun violence. 

“We absolutely and desperately need aggressive legislation to stop this madness,” said Jaffee. 

County Legislative Chair Harriet Cornell stated safety at schools must be improved and that she strongly supported the recommendations from the Lower Hudson Valley School Superintendents Association for more school resource officers and increased school mental health services.

“I think that Call to Action is something we all must commit to,” said Cornell. 

Village of Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White read the comments of a Newtown father who son was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Lowey described her goal as, “No more pain. No more suffering. No more unnecessary deaths.”

Also present were Haverstraw Police Chief Charles Miller, West HaverstrawMayor John Ramundo, Laura Kreeger Niel of the One Million Moms for Gun Control’s Rockland/Westchester Chapter, Haverstraw Village Trustee Emily Dominguez, Village of Airmont Mayor Veronica Boesch, Village of Hillburn Mayor Bernard Jackson, North Rockland School Superintendent Ilean Eckert and Haverstraw Community Center Director Marion Breland-Oswald.


Marc D February 01, 2013 at 06:43 PM
“We absolutely and desperately need aggressive legislation to stop this madness,” said Jaffee. yes we do, reopen facilities like Rockland Psychiatric Hospital and Letchworth Village, stop the over medication and group homes. When will our elected officials stand up to the "Big Pharma" Lobby? I guess they give them too much in payoffs.
jim beanes February 02, 2013 at 11:35 AM
too bad cuomo popularity rating went down, he should have done a little research before reacting on this so called law and instead of making the laws on the books stronger.. after all he WAS a prosecutor at one time,, and therfore i believe is is a gun owner to protect HIMSELF but he is trying to be # 1 state to take action why not be #1 in providing some sort of mental facilities or education nope using the newtown tragedy as a platform to gain popularity WAY TO GO GOVERNOR
Anthony Mele February 02, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Call me old fashion, but I still hold truth as a virtue and find no admiration in how well the truth is perverted to persuade the gullible. Respectfully, our DA, Representative and Assemblywoman are painfully wrong. They say.. Cancer kills so we will criminalize lighters. They make no sense at all. Banning guns to prevent crime, is like banning gravity to prevent from falling down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD15A4Z7v34
Anthony Mele February 03, 2013 at 02:47 AM
The difference between us boils down to they who see freedom as the problem and us who see freedom as the solution. When you allude that your opinion is reasonable and sensible it says any other opinion is not. In practical terms of daily reality, you are painfully wrong. You are describing the creation of a Police State and we are opposing it. This is not about gun control it is only about control. Why do you offer as protection from the criminally insane or a criminal genius looking to hold hostages or commit murder, locking their intended victims inside with them? Then try to persuade us that the law abiding must disarm under threat of criminal prosecution and confiscation as a panacea. I respectfully request a rethinking of this policy.
Anthony Mele February 03, 2013 at 04:48 PM
The facts surrounding Newtown indicate that none of the school staff attempted to escape or evade with the children because they were trained to sit and wait, despite the fact they heard the shooting in the class room next to them, the screams of children being shot, and did nothing to attempt an escape. Who is responsible for that? Additionally, for two days prior to the Newtown attack, mock exercises were held at the school with DHS actors teaching them the lock down policy. Investigators are trying to piece together what role did that play. It is surmised that the alleged shooter may have participated or wanted to participate, or the idea of attacking was given to him then. So, when his Mother tried to stop him, she was murdered and commenced the spree. Where are the 600 witnesses? who sat there doing nothing, because some may have thought it was part of the realistic exercise. Why are no witness statements available? Now we have Dr. Morgano calling for the disarming of the law abiding public and making zero proposals how to protect our kids in his school. Notice, not one word about consulting independent counterterrorism experts about how to protect our schools. In every case, police arrive to a murder or hostage scene, not prevent one.


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