By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Joining together to present a united front, Republican lawmakers and a law enforcement official stood with state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) at a recent press conference to support his proposed legislation to crack down on suspects who share guns with each other.
Golden’s bill is aimed at punishing users of so-called “community guns,” firearms that are passed from one person to another to facilitate violent crime. In many cases, one user will hide the gun in a public place for another user to find. Golden said.
State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) and Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan held a joint press conference at the D.A.’s office to announce their endorsement of Golden’s bill.
The proposed legislation would enhance the public safety of New Yorkers by increasing penalties for the sharing, selling, exchanging, giving or disposing a “community gun” to be used to commit crimes and intimidate victims, Golden said. The bill would provide prosecutors greater ability to attach criminal
liability to all those responsible for sharing or making available a “community gun,” according to Golden, who said the acts would be prosecuted as felonies.
“Law enforcement experts report that the use of ‘community guns’ is becoming more prevalent within our society, yet those making these illegal guns available are not being held accountable. As such, we must advance our laws in New York to halt this pattern so to keep our streets safer for all citizens,” Golden said.
“It’s ironic that these stashed-away weapons are referred to as ‘community guns,’ because they are destroying our communities,” Donovan said. “In neighborhoods plagued by violence, ‘community guns’ are as easily accessible as ATM’s, to be used to commit any crime, any time.”
Lanza said the bill would “provide law enforcement agents and prosecutors with greater tools to combat gun violence and keep dangerous criminals off our streets.”
“Illegally-transferred weapons allow criminals to perpetrate violence without a paper trail,” Malliotakis said. “Law enforcement is put at a severe disadvantage without the necessary tools to address the exchange of lethal weaponry.”
While Golden was gathering increasing levels of support for his bill, his opponent in upcoming the Nov. 6 election, Democrat Andrew Gounardes, said he’s not impressed with the incumbent’s effort.
Golden, a retired cop, is running for his sixth term in office.
Gounardes, a lawyer, charged that Golden isn’t serious about gun control because he has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.). There are several gun control bills that the Republican-dominated state senate failed to pass during the last legislative session, Gounardes said. "Is Marty Golden so afraid of losing his N.R.A. ‘A’ rating that he won't pass common sense bills?” he asked.