NEW YORK NOW – Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of four Republican candidates for governor, said Thursday that Democrats should find ways for prosecutors to enforce laws already on the books to curb illegal gun trafficking in New York, rather than approve new firearm regulations.
Speaking to reporters in Albany, Zeldin said that prosecutors he’s spoken to across the state since the start of his campaign have told him the current laws aren’t being enforced.
“What I hear from prosecutors is just how often laws on the books here in New York get broken but are not prosecuted,” Zeldin said.
“This has been one of the issues nationally, where you can enact a law but if you’re not going to enforce it, then the discussions shouldn’t be about what your next law is that you’re going to pass. It should be why you’re not enforcing the laws on the books.”
Democrats in the State Senate, this week, approved a package of bills aimed at reducing gun violence in New York. It’s unclear if the Assembly plans to take any of the bills up before the end of this year’s legislative session next Thursday.
Among the measures approved by the Senate are legislation that would allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers when their products fall into the wrong hands, a mandatory waiting period for firearm purchases, and more.
Those ideas were largely panned by Republicans, who said Democrats should provide more support to members of law enforcement to address spikes in crime statewide.
Zeldin said he thought the public was more aware of issues involving state government now than in years past, when the average person may not be paying attention to what’s happening in Albany.
“When people talked about freedoms in years past, they thought we were just talking about the SAFE Act,” Zeldin said. “Government has a very high bar to meet when you’re enacting a restriction on individual liberty.”
Zeldin is one of four Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for governor, but he’s garnered the most support from county chairs than any other candidate.
Also running are former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, former Trump adviser Andrew Giuliani, and Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli.