Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., is joining the growing list of New York political figures spearheading various proposals to strengthen the country’s lax gun laws by standing alongside Sen. Dianne Feinstein and introducing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013.
Following the deadly attack in Newtown, Connecticut, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., signed into law one of the country’s strictest gun control bills; Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made an passionate plea to D.C. lawmakers for better background checks, and next week Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., plans to introduce a measure she co-sponsored with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to stop gun trafficking.
On Friday, McCarthy responded to comments by some Republican political leaders that these newfound gun control measures would hinder the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.
McCarthy told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Democrats “aren’t taking away from people the right to own a gun” and pointed out that, although her colleagues respect the amendment, it’s time to “go forward.”
“We’ve introduced the Assault Weapons Ban,” she said on Andrea Mitchell Reports. “We’re going to be working on the large magazine clips. We’re going to be working on mental health and everything else where it’s going to be a holistic package. What we want to do is stop all these mass murders but also stop the shootings that go on in a daily basis.”
The New York congresswoman also echoed previous sentiments of other New York legislative leaders calling for better background checks and a stop to gun trafficking.
“Those are fair and reasonable things to fight for,” she said. “But again, they [the GOP] keep saying we keep fringing on their constitutional right. That is not true.”
McCarthy noted that Americans were deeply affected by Newtown and want to help, citing efforts such as the One Million Moms for Gun Control and their upcoming march for stronger gun control laws.
“We’ve have more groups then we’ve ever seen before stepping up and saying, ‘how can we help?’ so, it’s really a matter of organizing and even in the White House getting out there almost like a campaign and educating the American people on really telling them what we’re trying to do, “ she said.
When Mitchell asked McCarthy about the reluctance from the GOP to jump on board, the congresswoman mentioned the power the NRA has on members of Congress, saying they shouldn’t be underestimated. She recognized that the association sometimes prevents her Republican counterparts from voting with her for new gun control measures.
“Basically we’re dealing with the NRA—that are trying to scare members of Congress, that’s been for years,” McCarthy said. “Many of them have said to me, they’d love to vote with me but they don’t want to lose their election about it. We have to show them that the American people will stand behind them; that the American constituents will stand behind them."