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. 

confectioner January 15, 2013 at 08:50 PM
When is Zeldin up for re-election?
Darren January 15, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Way to go Lee,,,freedom 1st .I am glad you represent me
Darren January 15, 2013 at 09:42 PM
So you are a model citizen who owns a weapon...You followed the rules and purchased within legal guidelines following all the rules and laws... The Gov looking for publicity stands on a milkcrate and screams that a 10 round Low capacity mag in a weapon is now against the law..OK so you now have labeled several hundred thousand law abiding citizens common criminals..Great..Now what ..Problem solved..I guess add these guys to the list of CSEA,and any other state employee,MTA workers with no contract,Teachers and oh yea LIPA/National grid and any one who works in the firearm industry,and now all sportsman/hunters who will remember you andy and now you have eroded the DOCTOR/PATIENT confidenality and watered down the 1st and 2nd amendment.. and does your security team still carry 3 clips each at 17 rounds per clip or did we not infringe on your own rights.. I'll take my chances with freedom before i'll take a chance with you pal and I hope the people see you for what you are...
Deep Space January 15, 2013 at 09:46 PM
The 2nd Amendment, Batman Shooting & High Fructose Corn Syrup http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvIK4cmzeRY
Mike C January 15, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Lee, you were on mandatory reserve training.Where were the other 38 members of the senate and how many of them would have voted against this insanity? The vote is held at 11:20pm,(a little late don't you think?),minus 39 state senators(even stranger),and I always thought you needed 51 members of the senate to pass a bill.If they only need a quorum and majority vote, I think the liberal democrats who are always for stricter gun control, would have passed a bill a long time ago.What gives?? It seems the democrats in this country always speak about open door policy in politics, but don't "walk the walk".Par for the course! Another "closed door""back room" 'shady dealing" bill gets passed. My favorite line from liberals is "the constitutional amendments are not absolute". What they fail to say is only amendments of their choosing....
PatchawgFatGuy January 16, 2013 at 02:52 AM
The elite does not want proletariat to have the ability to resist the changes that are for our "own good" but are too ignorant to understand.
lori January 16, 2013 at 01:39 PM
well said....he has my vote in the next election
Judy Pepenella January 16, 2013 at 02:43 PM
I applaud Lee Zeldin for saying what is CORRECT, not pulling any party line, but saying what is correct. The legislation does not handle any of the needed REAL changes that are being called for by the public. LEGAL gun owners are being penalized and IF you catch the ILLEGAL gun users (they never own the gun, just use it) THEN and only then will they be in trouble. Please read this legislation and see what it says. Here is a link to the legislation. http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S2230-2013 We must and I mean MUST stop illegal gun use but not at the cost to LEGAL tax paying citizens who follow ALL of the rules and regulations.
tom cavanaugh January 16, 2013 at 05:16 PM
TOM CAVANAUGH PUBLIC SAFETY is not your top priority mr. zelden.YOUR constituents are against guns---60% to 40% you can look it up---you have failed your constituents!!!! you should hide your head in the sand---election day is right around the corner. TOM CAVANAUGH BLUE POINT.
Jeff January 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I agree with him entirely
Ben Vitale January 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Thank You Lee; you have my vote at the next election. I will never ever vote for any of the politicians that pushed this gun control bill through, with no regard for protocol. I never thought I would see a dictatorship in America!
William Speidell January 20, 2013 at 05:33 PM
What part of this new gun law actually protects our school children. School security should have been the first consideration. The 7 round magazine would be laughable if it weren't so sad. Can you imagine a madman or criminal taking that law seriously.We have people writing legislation and voting on it that haven't a clue as to how to stop gun violence. Suffolk County Police shift changes should be done at school parking lots from now on. That would be one step toward increasing security at our schools.
Ben Vitale January 20, 2013 at 07:18 PM
William: That is a great idea! As I recall, some years ago, an auxiliary Police Unit was given a room inside of a school. Every time an APO went on or off of "patrol," he had to sign in and out at that location. There certainly were many uniforms in and out of that School. A Suffolk County Police field office could be placed in each school; offering day and night protection.
jim polichak January 20, 2013 at 08:53 PM
The Founding Father's idea was that the only way that the Colonists were able to overthrow the British was to be armed as well as the British were armed. The Second Amendment was passed when it was assumed that every able-bodied male would be a member of a militia that would protect the nation from foreign invasion. Many of the Founding Fathers refused to support the adoption of the then new Federal Constitution {to replace the original form of American government} with a guarantee that American public be armed on a par with the new Federal Government. I don't think that we really need to depend upon the members of the NRA and hunting clubs to repel invaders from Canada and Mexico today and the arms wielded by Federal Government dwarf any arms that its citizenry could ever collectively hold. So, unless you plan on buying and keeping ICBMs armed with atomic weapons to protect yourself from the Feds; you might as well give up your assault weapons, too, so the is no chance that they might fall into the wrong hands and kill innocent children again. Remember, the weapons that killed the children of Sandy Hook were stolen. Can anyone absolutely guarantee that their weapons will never be stolen? Is your hobby really more important than children's lives?
jenny January 20, 2013 at 09:46 PM
No guns for crazy people
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:18 AM
63 NYS Senators... are you talking about assemblymen/women? Zeldin is in the senate.
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:26 AM
Hey Tom, got any problem with this Imperial Governor pushing this thru without the 72 hours review period (like obamacare was debated on C-span not reviewed either, sounds like a democrat pattern) and voted on at 1130 at night? Assemblyman Lentol leading the democrat side of the debate in the assembly ADMITTED that even if in it's totality IF this legislation was passed one month before Sandy Hook and IF a Sandy Hook occurred in NYS instead of Connecticut, THIS BILL WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED IT. So what good is it except to start paving a road to the White House for herr Cuomo and take a way the rights of law abiding citizens?
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Part 1- Good thought on the shift changes & their lunches can be taken at the schools also. The 7 round magazine puts these guns on par with revolvers. That is not good. I was on patrol during the 'crack wars' of the 80's and 90's when we were getting out shot by every bad guy on the street with a 9mm & a 15 round mag. 1 just has to recall the case of Scott Gadell to see the folly in this act to ignore exempting police officers/peace officers and others in law enforcement fields from this portion of the law: Scott A. Gadell, NYPD, End of Watch: Saturday, June 28, 1986 The officers chased the suspect into an alley and exchanged shots. As Officer Gadell was reloading his revolver the suspect was able to come up behind him and shot and killed him.
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Part 2- The suspect, who was charged with a drug related murder in 1985, was out on bail. That's putting it nicely. We were told the truth in trng: Scott exchanged gunfire in a Far Rockaway alleyway with the 'suspect'. Out of bullets he took cover behind a set of steps and attempted to reload his revolver. The perp, walked up on him & executed him by putting his gun to the back of Scott's head. Scott had to have seen the perp walking up on him (as he was trained to look up as he reloaded) not being able to reload in time. The bullets & partially loaded gun found under Scott on the ground with Scott in a final crumpled desperate death pose behind those stairs. THAT is the disdain and lack of respect for life that bad guys have for anyone that stands up to them. Let's not have another death of a Good Person to realize the folly of this law.
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Please read the below in numbered order... apologies....
Willaim January 22, 2013 at 07:41 AM
The below comments are from a William B, not the aforementioned William Speidell.
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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