Westchester County Legislators

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Statement from Legislator Virginia Perez, Chair of the Board of Legislators Legislation Committee on proposed laws to ban or regulate gun shows in Westchester county

“Ten years ago this month, my beloved younger brother Martin was shot and killed in the stairwell of a public housing building in Yonkers while working as a food delivery person.  My life and the lives of my family were forever changed that day.  Not just because of the loss we’ve experienced but because of how that loss has informed how I view the world and issues like public safety, criminal justice and guns.


“I will be voting in favor of the proposed legislation to ban gun shows at the Westchester County Center.  I will also vote in favor of the proposed local law to adopt guidelines established by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to regulate the sale of weapons at guns shows throughout Westchester County.  My brother’s shooting was a major motivating influence in my decision to enter public service and so I will support any proposal that makes Westchester County residents more safe when it comes to guns.


“The gun that killed my Brother Martin was not bought at a gun show.  In fact we will never know exactly how that weapon came to be in the hands of the eighteen year old man who shot and killed my brother because it was acquired illegally, on the street, outside of New York State without the oversight of any law enforcement or government entity.  The majority of gun deaths that are happening to our young men and women in urban communities are not the result of legally regulated guns that were acquired at a gun show or gun shop, they are the result of people carrying guns completely outside the rule of law.


“After the debating is over and the gun show has come and gone, I will urge my colleagues to stand with me in advocating for stricter mandatory minimum sentences and less plea bargains for anyone caught carrying an illegal gun.  According to recent statistics, less than half the defendants arrested for carrying an illegal loaded gun received a state prison sentence.”


Legislators Discuss Guns Show Legislation on Tuesday at Joint Committee Meeting Chaired by Legislator Perez

 

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