Congresswoman Velazquez’s Bill Seeks to Reduce Gun Violence
On October 26th, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez unveiled new legislation aimed at reducing the number of guns in circulation, bolstering anti-violence and mental health programs and addressing the issue of lost and stolen firearms and will be introduced to the House of Representative later in the week.
The “Reducing Gun Violence in Our Neighborhoods Act” would take several steps to address the spiraling issue of gun violence in the United States and New York. Across the U.S., almost 600,000 guns are stolen each year from private homes. The bill would strengthen federal reporting requirements for stolen or lost guns, establish a national database for missing firearms, and utilize technology so that the origin of recovered weapons can be identified.
“Too many New Yorkers have lost their lives due to the ‘Iron Pipeline’ that illegally funnels guns from southern states into our City,” Velázquez noted. “By better harnessing technology, requiring gun owners to report missing firearms and establishing a national database for lost guns, we can assist law enforcement and encourage owners to be more responsible in safeguarding their weapons.”
The bill would also seek to reduce the sale of new weapons through a federal tax levied on the retail sale of firearms. Revenue from the $100 per-weapon tax would be designated for Department of Justice grants that go to innovative, community-based anti-violence programs and for locally oriented mental health services.
Velázquez’s bill drew wide support from New York City elected officials, the Brooklyn and Queens District Attorneys, local gun control organizations and various community groups. This included: President Eric Adams, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., NYC Councilman Carlos Menchaca, NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, among others.