On April 17, the United States Senate turned its back on the families of Aurora, Newtown and the more than 30 people who die at the hands of gun violence every day when common-sense gun safety laws were filibustered by a minority of senators.
It was one of the most deeply disappointing days of my short time in the Senate. Families from coast to coast deserved better from this Congress.
Monday’s announcement by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly that a record haul of over 250 weapons were taken off the streets — many of them straw-purchased and coming from states along the so called “Iron Pipeline” — serves as a reminder that while Congress fails to act on a federal statute making gun trafficking a crime, criminal networks continue to brazenly act like it’s business as usual.
According to Bloomberg, 90% of the firearms used in gun crimes in New York City came from out of state in 2011, compared with 85% in 2009, and at least 90% of these guns are bought through the black market run by traffickers.
What is shocking to me as a mother and a lawmaker is that while business along the Iron Pipeline of trafficked guns continues to thrive, effectively none of the federal laws we have on the books are directly focused on preventing straw purchasing or gun trafficking.