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Zeldin Releases Statement on Gun Legislation

State senator, currently on Army Reserve duty, says he would have voted against gun control measure that the Senate passed Monday night.

State Sen. Lee Zeldin, R-Shirley, released the following statement after the Senate voted 43-18 Monday night to approve changes to the state's gun laws, including expanding the state’s ban on assault weapons, according to a New York Times report. The Democrat-controlled Assembly is expected to vote on the measure on Tuesday. 

"The tragedies we have experienced in recent years, like last month in Newtown, Connecticut, deeply concern me and the vast majority of our state and nation. The senseless taking of innocent lives is unacceptable in any capacity. 

In our Constitution are certain rights which provide the foundation of America’s greatness. Its Second Amendment in no uncertain terms guarantees the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Its purpose was not so much about hunting as it was for a deeper and much more important consideration of our founding fathers. The inspiration for this protection rose out of a fundamental mistrust of government. I believe our Constitution should be strictly construed in a manner consistent with the intent of our nation's founding fathers. Agree or disagree with how good or bad government is today, this was a primary purpose why the Second Amendment was created and why it should be respected and adhered to still today. 

The actions government takes to protect its citizens through gun laws must strike the right balance of targeting illegal guns and the criminals who use them without eroding the basic protections of the 2nd Amendment for law abiding gun owners. If there was some common sense solution to take away every illegal gun from criminals without disarming law abiding gun owners, I would be all for it. 

Respectfully, I don’t believe that the gun package tonight strikes the proper balance and therefore I do not support it. I am currently in Virginia on Army Reserve duty for two weeks of mandatory military training.  Had I been able to be present to vote, I would have voted against it. 

There are a lot of good elements in this bill from expanding Kendra’s Law to increasing many penalties related to the use and possession of illegal guns. I commend my Republican colleagues who fought so hard to add these positive aspects. We must also strengthen enforcement of our current laws which are already some of the strongest in the nation. 

Moving forward, public safety must always be a top priority. This debate should be even more focused on targeting illegal guns and providing maximum assistance to New Yorkers with mental illnesses in order to most directly avoid another tragedy like Newtown. Our focus as a state and nation has to be on providing people in need of mental health care more access to help. Society as a whole also needs to better understand mental illness and develop improved means of detecting potential violence long before it can become a threat to anyone else. 

As the State Senator from the Third District of New York, I have a responsibility to weigh the views of my constituents, our concerns for their safety as well as their constitutionally protected rights. 

Our great nation was founded on the idea that all people have certain inalienable rights. Our founding fathers understood that these rights were not granted by the government and therefore, shall not be removed by it either."

What's your take on Zeldin's remarks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:46 AM
The laws excluding 'crazy people' started back in the 60-70's with the liberals and ACLU types saying that if someone who needed help was to be put on a list of ANY type, they may not come in for treatment. the move back then was to streamline many mental health cases and close down asylums & give outpatient care & meds to all. But no one should ever know who is who when it came to gun buying. this is a crisis cased by democrats & liberals and NOW THEY'VE GOT THE ANSWER? FUNNY thing here, MSNBC just did a story repeating that now people will not again come in for MH treatment. Those 'lefties' never learn.
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 08:15 AM
Darren, come on... most of the groups you mention have their union reps twisting arms in favor of cuomo and the democrats. Especially teachers, CSEA and MTA workers. The membership in those 3 unions (and a few more) are sheeple that follow their union thugs around who like with the Tasty Bakery would sell out the membership in a heart beat and land with union made thug parachutes into a nice retirement while the members without a job learn to say: Would You Like Fries with That?
Lori January 22, 2013 at 08:42 PM
The guns were not stolen. They belonged to Adam Lanza's mother who did nothing to prevent her son from taking them and also taught how to shoot guns. In addition, she took him to a shooting range days before he killed her and the massacre of 26 innocent children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Adam Lanza was mentally ill. Leaving firearms accessible to mentally ill people is wrong. Many people knew that Adam Lanza had serious problems, yet his mother taught him to shoot guns and they were readily accessible to him (not stolen). As for someone guaranteeing that their guns cannot be stolen, can you guarantee that your wallet will not be stolen? Yes, this is comparing apples and oranges, but it is the same basic principle. Everyone's life is precious, children especially so. No gun law could have prevented this tragedy from occurring unless it was enforced. Unfortunately, our elected officials believe that passing stricter laws will help to curtail this type of tragedy, yet do little to enforce the laws that were already on the books. Andy Pandy Cuomo used to have my respect, but with his ramming this law down the throats of our elected officials and not even allowing them to read it -- all because he wanted to usurp President Obama and bring his name into the national spotlight, I have no respect for him at all. He is the worst kind of politician there is. One who thinks that he should be KING!
JACK January 25, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Lee... I want you to know I always voted for you and will continue to do so. I applaud you for standing up for what is right. My only complaint though is through no fault of your own is that you weren't around to represent us at a time when we gun owners in New York needed more representatives who fight for us when most in New York are just plainly ultra liberal gun grabbing Democrats.
Willaim January 25, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Jack, If the vote was tied or lost by one vote I'd be all over Lee. But the vote was basically a landslide. But as a member of the National Guard I realize these types of things are going to happen and have sometimes including missing family events. Here's what to do now. There's a period for changes to the bill. Email or call Lee's office in what you'd like to see changed. Personally I have done so and I am forming a letter to change the way Albany does business on bills like this. I.E; NO more doing things at night and without the 72 hour review in the procedures. Instead of a procedure, MAKE it a law punishable as a D- felony for anyone politician that violates it. Also all bills need to be broken down for voting, no more omnibus bills that contain 30 laws in one bill. Here say the 4-5 things about mental health should be one bill. NYS is being run into the ground and we know who's doing it.

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