NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The National Rifle Association is targeting New York lawmakers with major campaign cash. The gun rights group is handing out more donations in the Empire State than in any other state.
It’s an effort to battle a gun control measure pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
The NRA has given more than $215,000 to local lawmakers in recent years, the mega money is mostly targeting a proposal called “microstamping,” which requires handguns to leave a tiny identifying imprint on the casing of every round fired.
“It would give another tool to the police to find out who is committing crime, who’s doing the shooting, the murdering, creating carnage on our streets,” Bloomberg said Wednesday.
However, the microstamping bill has been bottled up by Republicans in the state Senate.
“They feel that they know better than police chiefs and district attorneys. That’s ridiculous. The money speaks for itself. You follow the trail of money and you realize they’re being bought by the NRA,” said state Sen. Jose Peralta, D-Queens.
As far as gun industry donations to politicians and spending on lobbying, NRA supporters have said they have a First Amendment right to protect their Second Amendment rights.
“Essential. It’s essential because we don’t defend our rights then they will get whittled away,” NRA-certified gun expert Lateif Dickerson said.
Dickerson said he sees microstamping as well-intentioned, but ineffective.
“Almost all guns used in crime were stolen, stolen firearms. So if you have a gun that can microstamp onto a cartridge, that gun gets stolen, you’re still left to find who was the shooter of that firearm, you’re back to square one,” Dickerson said.
So far, the NRA is winning these battles, working successfully to block microstamping measures in most states where it has been proposed.
Remington firearms has a major plant upstate. The company has hinted it may relocate 1,000 jobs if microstamping becomes law.
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