New York took a stand against lax gun laws three years ago and two of the country’s leading advocates for tighter restrictions visited the city yesterday to call for the state law’s expansion to the national level.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, joined several New York elected officials on the steps of City Hall as part of their “Vocal Majority” bus tour across 14 states, during which they are pushing their campaign to curb gun violence.
Giffords, who resigned from the House of Representatives after she was shot at a political rally in Arizona in 2011, praised New York for passing stricter gun control laws and said the nation is looking to the Empire State for inspiration.
“Be bold. Be courageous. The nation is counting on you,” she said.
Kelly, a gun owner, said the bi-partisan NY SAFE Act that banned assault rifles in the state and created a universal background check is an example of legislation that can be emulated across the country. He said the majority of Americans are in favor of tougher gun laws despite the lobbying of the NRA and other groups.
“We think it is past time that the vocal majority of Americans are heard from,” he said.
Gun rights advocates continue to fight the SAFE Act and are fighting to stop similar legislation from getting passed on a national level.
Giffords and Kelly urged New Yorkers not to vote for Donald Trump this November, citing his opinions on gun laws.
Kelly said he was particularly appalled over the GOP candidate’s response to the June 12 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
“More guns isn’t the solution,” he said.
A representative from the NRA did not have an immediate comment.