While most local leaders agree that a problem exists regarding gun violence in the U.S., not all are taking the same approach in trying to address it.
Some, like State Assmbly. Michelle Schimel, D-Great Neck, have signed on to large coalitions with other lawmakers calling for immediate action while demanding stricter gun regulations at the state and federal level.
Schimmel and about 50 other state lawmakers gathered in force on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan Thursday to unveil an eight-point plan to help curb gun violence statewide.
A similar plan, endorsed by 750 mayors nationwide, including five of nine Great Neck peninsula mayors, was sent in a letter to Pres. Barrack Obama Dec. 19 calling for executive action.
Schimel, co-chair of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns and longtime gun control advocate, said Thursday the public is demanding action following last week’s Newtown massacre and in light of other preventable acts of gun violence in recent years.
“New York state must be a leader on this issue," said Schimmel in a press release. "My constituents are demanding a plan. We have a plan.”
Schimel endorsed the idea that New York has often created stronger laws than its federal counterparts. Her approved outline includes many longstanding bills and ideas, which Thursday's Manhattan coalition urged be passed in the coming weeks and months, including:
- A universal background check on the sale of all guns
- Strengthening of ban on assault weapons
- Strengthening of high capacity ammunition magazine ban
- Microstamping of guns
- 5-year renewal of gun licenses
- Improved gun dealer regulations
- Regulation of ammunition sales
- Limit personal gun purchases to one a month
But not all Great Neck area representatives are completely on board with Schimel's plan or approach.
While agreeing that change is needed regarding gun laws, state Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, said this week state laws are circumvented regularly by those who merely travel to states with less stringent gun laws and bring them back illegally.
"While states like New York carefully vet potential gun owners the laws in other states vary in intensity, making illegal weaponry far too easy to obtain and transport over state lines," Martins said.
The answers to gun control questions will only become evident the finger pointing stops, according to Martins.
All lawmakers seem to agree that they are angry and sad following the tragedy in Connecticut but what becomes of the continued gun violence frustration remains unclear.