With state and federal gun laws on the minds of many voters this fall, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins addressed a rally in Yorktown Heights Sunday organized by the group Moms Demand Action.
Maloney is facing challenger state Assemblyman Mike Lawler, R-Pearl River, for the 17th Congressional District in a race classified as a toss up by the Cook Political Report.
Maloney and Sen. Stewart-Cousins were joined by Sen. Harckham, Assembly candidates Kathleen Valletta and Dana Levenberg, and Assemblymember Burdick at the rally meant to help Democrats maintain the majority in Congress and the New York State Legislature.
According to a September 28 Siena College poll, “national gun policies” was the most important issue for determining their Novemebr vote for both Democrats and Republicans. It was the most important issue for 16 percent of independent voters.
“There’s only one party that is the grown ups in the room right now, and it’s Democrats,” said state Sen. Andrea Stweart-Cousins, D-Yonkers. “We’re the only grown ups in the room. We’re the only people willing to govern, we’re the only people willing to address the fear that people have by doing something by funding our communities, by going forth and telling people what they need to do to be safe, and who make sense.
“You can’t incarcerate your way out of this issue. You can’t hand everybody a gun, and lock everybody up,” Stewart-Cousins said. “You need people who are willing to think, act, and stand up for you. Stand up with courage and integrity, tell people the truth and go to work.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer kicked off the event alongside guest speakers from the group Moms Demand Action, a group that works to pass stricter gun laws.
“In the next 10 days, we’re gonna decide, ladies and gentlemen, whether we go forward or go back, and my family doesn’t fit in the future that they’re trying to build. Whether your issue is climate change, whether your issue is reproductive freedom, or whether your issue is gun safety, you have such a dramatic choice to make right now. And we need your help,” Maloney said.
Over the summer, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed Legislation S.9458/A.10503 which bars the purchase of semiautomatic rifles by anyone under the age 21 by requiring a license.
In other related laws, the application permit process for a handgun was also changed with the state now requiring extensive range training and a social media check, among other things. Additionally, firearms are not allowed in “sensitive areas” such as churches, parks, playgrounds, Times Square in Manhattan and private businesses, unless they explicitly state otherwise via signage.
Referring to his challenger, Maloney said there is a stark difference for voters next week.
“So you got a choice in this race, you’ve got a choice between someone who’s in the pocket of the NRA and is not going to do a thing while kids are getting gunned down in their classrooms and someone who’s going to pass good common sense gun safety legislation. We have more to do. We also passed the assault weapons ban out of the House of Representatives,” said Congressman Maloney.
According to the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund website, Lawler has not received a grade or an endorsement front the NRA, but Maloney received a grade of “F” from the organization.