Councilman Richards continues combatting gun violence

New York City Councilmember Donovan J. Richards (third from left) with other local officals and police officers promoting “Casf For Guns” program.

Neither the U.S. Supreme Court decision to forego hearing a challenge to New York’s SAFE Act nor Omar Mateen’s killing of 49 people (and injuring of 53) at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has altered the position of the Senate on tightening gun control.

Nearly a week after the Orlando shooting, the Senate did not vote in the interest of fair gun control proposals.

The failure of the four varied gun control measures to pass the Senate, within a close time period of the mass shooting in Orlando, is predicted to be a heated issue during the presidential campaign.

Both Democrats and Republicans offered gun laws limiting the purchasing of firearms. In what could have been perceived as a possible moment of reckoning for the two political parties, was quickly dissolved.

Not surprising, the Senate denied a Republican-gun measure, which permits at least a three-day sale delay to terrorists suspects, if there is a showing of probable cause.

According to one major publication, “gun clubs for the LGBT community nationally are showing a significant increase in membership” — nearly doubling — following the Orlando shooting.

After the Orlando massacre, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declared that the Senate “ought to do something” to eliminate shooting fatalities.

“At least, they (Senate) are feeling the heat,” Schumer, added, at a news conference with Democrats and relatives of victims of gun violence.

The nonpartisan Organizing For Action and gun-control advocates are hopeful bipartisan gun-control legislation is inevitable.

“The Senate had the chance to pass two amendments, one that would’ve expanded background checks on gun sales and one that would’ve helped prevent known terrorists from buying guns,” stated OFA Director of Community Programs, Traci Wile. In a prepared statement Wile added, “Both had a real chance go help gun violence and make our neighborhood safer.” According to Wile, the activist Rep. John Lewis with Queens’ Rep. Gregory Meeks staged a sit-in on the House floor insisting upon common sense gun policy.

Despite the fact that the Senate is not moving forward on gun-control action, New York City Councilmember Donovan J. Richards led a Gun Buy-Back program at Macedonia Baptist Church in Arverne, Rockaway, New York.

Guns were submitted without any inquiry in exchange for a pre-paid debt card. A payment of $200 was offered for operable hand guns and assault rifles. Twenty-five dollars was provided for air guns, shot guns and rifles. Dozens of guns were surrendered.

Richards’ gun buy-back program is a commendable effort to halt gun violence in the Rockaways and nationally.

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