New York Post – by Kirstan Conley, Carl Campanile and Ruth Brown
Democrats in the state Senate, fed up with gun-control bills going nowhere in the GOP-controlled chamber, are secretly planning to force their Republican colleagues into voting on the issue today — by introducing the stalled proposals as hostile amendments.
In the wake of the Florida school massacre, the Democrats will tack on bills that have been stonewalled in committees — including banning bump stocks plus beefing up background checks and a law that allows courts to take away a disturbed person’s guns — to unrelated legislation already up for votes.
“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have not brought these bills to the floor,” state Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told The Post. “There are things we can do besides offer condolences and prayers and then stand idly by.”
The four proposals — which also includes the creation of a “research institute” to study gun violence — are hardly “radical,” Stewart-Cousins said.
President Trump is already backing a ban on bump stocks, a device that turns semiautomatic weapons into automatic ones and was used in last year’s Las Vegas mass shooting.
And Florida Gov. Rick Scott is currently pushing for a “red flag” law — which allow family members and cops to seek a court order preventing a dangerous person from possessing or buying firearms — in his deeply conservative state.
But their Empire State counterparts have been reluctant to take a position in this election year.
“We are currently having important discussions about a comprehensive school-safety plan that will ensure the state provides the support necessary to strengthen security and keep our children safe,” is all Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif would say on gun control Tuesday.
The sneak attack could especially blindside Republicans senators in marginal seats — who risk angering either anti-gun constituents or the pro-gun state Conservative Party, whose endorsement often helps those GOP candidates scrape over the line.
Long Island Republican rookie Sen. Elaine Phillips — who won her seat by 2 percentage points in 2016 — twice fled from a reporter attempting to ask her position on gun control Tuesday.
Fellow marginal Long Island state Sens. Carl Marcellino and Kemp Hannon both said they can’t comment on Democratic proposals because they haven’t read the bills.
“The governor, who had been advocating like crazy, hasn’t proposed anything new except for taking guns away from people who commit domestic violence,” said Hannon. “So we obviously need steps to react from school violence, not only in Florida but in other states, and I would expect to see them in short order.”
Long Island Sen. Phil Boyle and Brooklyn Sen. Marty Golden told The Post last week they’re open to the red-flag bill but wanted to see more specifics.
Even experts were stunned that New York lawmakers have to resort to such an unorthodox method to even bring the increasingly popular proposals to a vote.
“It’s amazing that in this day and age you have to go such extreme measures to try to pass gun-control bills. That you have to circumvent the committee process to get a vote on gun control in New York State,” said Hunter College public-affairs professor Joseph Viteritti.
The move will also put members of the Independent Democratic Conference — who typically caucus with the GOP but support gun control — into a tight spot. They will either have to defy their Republican allies by supporting the protocol-snubbing maneuver or vote down gun-safety measures they endorsed just a day earlier.
On Tuesday, Assembly and Senate Democrats held a press conference calling for the gun-control measures — and invited IDC members to join them.
“I look forward to pushing all of these pieces of legislation and again making sure that we get a comprehensive gun-control law in the nation this year,” IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein said at the event, which promoted all four amendments the Democrats plan to add Wednesday, alongside several other gun measures.
Stewart-Cousins anticipates the IDC members will all back the four proposals. “These are not radical proposals,” she said.
One thought on “How NY state dems plan on forcing GOP to vote on gun control”
Have fun writing, passing, and forcing the GOP to vote for your stupid laws that everyone ignores.
Americans don’t care about gun laws anymore. They’re only concerned with stockpiling more ammo.