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Politics and Government

Gillibrand introduces federal gun trafficking legislation in Syracuse

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Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO News
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduces legislation in Syracuse aimed at stopping gun trafficking

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) chose the southside of Syracuse recently to announce another try at federal gun trafficking legislation.

Standing at the Seals Community Center on Syracuse's south side Friday, Syracuse Common Council President Helen Hudson said over the last 25 years, she’s lost 500 neighbors to gun violence. She admits New York state’s gun laws are tough, but can’t compete with the ‘Iron Pipeline,' the underground network that brings illegal guns, mostly from the South, into New York state.

"We just have to get other states to comply with our gun laws,” Hudson said. “So we in turn will not bury our children."

Gillibrand said New York’s gun laws are strong, but can’t compete with these illegal guns.

“We’ve closed our loopholes in New York. And so it’s just harder if you are a criminal to access weapons, except for guns that are trafficked right in to your community on the back of a truck,” Gillibrand said. “Then it’s really easy to purchase an illegal weapon. And we know about 70% of the weapons used in crimes in New York state come from out of state and most of those weapons are illegal.”

Gillibrand hopes the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking & Crime Prevention Act can help. The legislation would give law enforcement the tools to go after the dealers acting illegally.

“They can be prosecuted up to 25 years in prison if they’re convicted of running a trafficking ring,” Gillibrand said. “So it puts teeth. It also gives law enforcement the ability to do cross-border investigations."

She believes this can get bipartisan support, noting it got 58 of the needed 60 votes to move ahead last time it was voted on.

"I am just hopeful as soon as we finish efforts to build the rebuild the economy and recover from COVID, that we can start doing some of these important pieces of legislation that can garner 60 votes,” she said. “And if it can’t, I believe we should amend the filibuster."