2015-07-22 / Political Page

Maloney Seeks Hearing On Criminal Background Check System

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has requested a congressional hearing on the “breakdown of the criminal background check system” that resulted when the gun was purchased that was later used to massacre nine churchgoers in South Carolina on June 19.

Dylann Roof is alleged to have purchased the weapon used in the massacre of the victims, all black persons. In the letter seeking the hearing, Maloney stated that FBI Director James B. Comey had stated: “…that a felony charge against Dylann Roof was not properly entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Had the system worked properly, Roof would not have been able to purchase a handgun, and nine innocent lives may have been spared.”

Maloney admitted to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings: “In the face of this overwhelming and tragic evidence of dangerous loopholes in the NICS data base [presented by Comey], Congress must step forward to examine its record and evaluate proposals to improve these background checks. Without a fully functioning criminal background check system, more felons and other dangerous individuals may obtain guns.”

Maloney, a senior member of the committee explained:

“Our background check system is flawed and riddled with loopholes. People are dying as a result and Congress cannot stand still. Many disagree with efforts to strengthen gun safety laws, but all of us should agree that we need to enforce the laws on the books. The fact that Roof was able to slip through the cracks proves we need to thoroughly examine the background check system and fix it. A Congressional hearing would be a good place to start.”

Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) has supported proposals to improve the NICS database, including legislation authored by former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (DNew York) to make sure that states provide records to the electronic system. Maloney also introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (H.R. 2380) to subject all gun sales and transfers at gun shows to background checks.

MENG STATEMENT ON TRAINTRUCK CRASH: Congresswoman Grace Meng (D–Flushing) issued the following statement on a train-truck crash in Maspeth which was shown on television.

Meng stated: “The video showing the freight train crashing into a tractor-trailer is extremely scary. And it’s very disturbing that the gate at the railroad crossing failed to come down in time. While we’re thankful that nobody was killed, we must get answers as to why this happened. I have been in touch with all stakeholders pertaining to this accident, and I am being kept up-to-date on the investigation. I eagerly await its conclusion, which I hope will be very soon. The crossing gate cannot be allowed to fail again. The safety of train personnel, motorists and area residents must not be compromised.”

VAN BRAMER APPLAUDS MAYOR’S $10M CITYWIDE ‘DIGITAL EQUITY’ PLAN WHICH INCLUDES QUEENSBRIDGE: City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D–Sunnyside) praised Mayor de Blasio’s announcement last week of a $10 million investment to bring free broadband service to three city housing developments.

Van Bramer stated: “This significant investment provides thousands of Queensbridge residents with free highspeed broadband service that will enhance our children’s education, increase access to job opportunities and gives a leg up to many families who are struggling to make ends meet.”

Van Bramer declared, “I applaud and praise the de Blasio administration for taking swift action across the five boroughs to promote digital equity, and for bridging the digital divide for so many New Yorkers who do not have access to quality broad band service.

“Through their leadership, the administration has given countless New York City Housing Administration (NYCHA) residents the ability to harness an essential 21st century tool that has already begun uplifting and improving the lives of hardworking New Yorkers.”

MALONEY STATEMENT ON IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney issued the following statement last week in reaction to the proposed P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran. Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) stated:

“Iran has unquestionably been a dangerous actor in the region and around the world, and it would be even more dangerous if it were to gain a nuclear weapon. That is why President Obama and the international community have worked so hard to find a diplomatic solution to end Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement reached by the P5+1 is complicated and must now be carefully scrutinized.”

Maloney continued: “Earlier this year I voted to give Congress 60 days to review this agreement, and I intend to use that time to study every detail and consult with a range of experts who can offer insights as to how this deal will affect the safety and security of the American people, the people of Israel and of the world.

“Nuclear proliferation is perhaps the greatest threat to humanity. Given the stakes, thoughtful consideration and debate are essential.”

ADDABBO ISSUES STATEMENT ON CHANGING SBA LOAN POLICY: State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D–Howard Beach) issued the following statement on a Build It Back decision. Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) stated:

“I am thrilled that Build It Back has finally made the right decision to stop recognizing SBA (Small Business Administration) loans as a hurdle to receiving federal funds and financial relief for damages sustained from Sandy. The former practice of unfairly limiting the monetary assistance to my constituents recovering from Sandy hindered our city’s ability as a whole to bounce back from this devastating storm.”

Addabbo continued, “In times of need, it is vital that we do everything we can to help our city and its residents recover, not place unreasonable restrictions on home owners, who are simply trying to rebuild their homes and their lives. This slight change in Build It Back policy will have a profound impact on my constituents and New Yorkers across the city. I thank Build It Back for working toward clearing the SBA loan hurdle and doing the right thing for my constituents.”

E. CROWLEY APPLAUDS HART IS. VISIT PLAN: Queens Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is generally opposed to the way the city’s Department of Correction (DOC) oversees operations at Hart Island in the Bronx, which serves as the city’s Potters Field and place of burial of deceased indigent people.

But the lawmaker said she’s in full agreement with the DOC’s recent announcement that it will now permit monthly gravesite visits by family members and their guests. Prior to this new policy, the public was only permitted to visit the “Gazebo” confined memorial area on the island, far from the gravesites.

Also under the new DOC measure, Crowley said, individuals will have access to relatives gravesites on one weekend day per month and will be escorted by DOC personnel. In addition, DOC will maintain an online and byphone scheduling system and will add burial plot numbers to the online database in order to facilitate visits.

Crowley (D–Glendale) said the DOC changes are “a positive step in reforming operations on the island,” after visiting there several times with relatives of the deceased.

The lawmaker has introduced legislation to switch jurisdiction there from DOC to the Parks Department, and to create a ferry operation to access the island. She stated, “Parks has the ability to make Hart Island a sacred space for the public to both remember their loved ones buried there and also enjoy the green space away from the bustle of our city.”

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