On the last day of early voting, Congress Member Mondaire Jones — one of the 13 candidates running for the 10th Congressional District in Tuesday’s Democratic primary — held a press conference in Brooklyn on Sunday calling for additional federal action to stop gun violence.
During the event outside the Gowanus Houses, both Jones and Parkland, FL school shooting survivor Cameron Kashy condemned rival Dan Goldman for investing in Ruger Guns.
“Also, gun violence generally is an epidemic in this country,” said Jones, the first openly gay Black member of Congress. “Just look at Brooklyn South where we stand today. All the way to East New York, 133 people have been shot this year. 124 the year before in Brooklyn South. That is simply unacceptable.”
Jones, who helped pass the first gun reform legislation in a generation, said that Congress had to go much further. He pointed out that the House Judiciary Committee and the House of Representatives passed legislation called the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” which would raise the age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21 and legislation banning ghost guns.
He admitted that a lot still needed to be done by Congress to reduce gun violence and that he was proud to lead the charge. He emphasized that there was a fundamental difference between the candidates in the crowded Democratic primary in New York’s 10th congressional district.
“There are real differences between myself and Dan Goldman, who has profited from his investments in the gun manufacturer called Ruger, which manufactures, among other things, AR-15 style assault weapons,” Jones shared. “I’m willing to bet the Democratic voters in New York’s 10th congressional district do not want to send someone to Congress representing them at a moment of unprecedented gun violence in our nation who has chosen to profit off of his investments in the same gun violence that we are seeing proliferate throughout our society.”
Kasky, who co-founded the student-led gun violence prevention group ‘March for Our Lives’ after surviving the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, said when he moved to New York City, he didn’t think that” there would be very much hanging on congressional races” when it came to gun violence because of the robust and unilateral coalition in stopping gun violence.
“Then I learned about Dan Goldman and where he holds his financial interests,” Kasky said, referring to Goldman’s investment in Ruger Guns. “At the end of the day, where these congressional candidates have their money tied up, where these people have their interest is important.”
In a statement released by the Dan Goldman campaign, the former counsel in the first impeachment trial against Donald Trump and heir to the Levi Strauss fortune dismissed Jones’ attack as “an incredibly tired smear from an increasingly desperate campaign and candidate with no ties to the district and nothing to offer voters beyond lies and vitriol.”
Jones currently represents the 17th District based in the Hudson Valley, but chose to run for the 10th District after redistricting put him in the same congressional area as another upstate Member of Congress, Sean Patrick Maloney.
“Dan has a long, consistent track record of fighting gun crimes and violence, is a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate, and has been endorsed by Jackie Rowe-Adams,” according to Goldman’s statement. “He only became aware of the asset when it was brought to his attention by the press, and as he said at the debate, Dan has already begun the process of divesting from any stocks that are harmful to our communities, planet, and democracy. This asset was never a reflection of Dan’s values, in the same way he knows it doesn’t reflect the values of the multiple other candidates in this race who own the same asset.”