"IT IS TIME TO STOP THE SCOURGE OF GUN VIOLENCE!"
As the family of Police Officer Russel Timoshenko mourn his
untimely death due to yet another senseless act of gun
violence, we, as citizens, must call on all elected officials
to help rid our communities of the devastating and illegal gun
trade, and demand that they not bow to special interests.
It is mandatory to utilize all tools available which would
enable law enforcement to establish how violent criminals are
able to get guns so readily. Most critical is to determine
whether any of these weapons originated from a legal source,
thus making them culpable and responsible for enabling the
flow of guns into criminal hands. 90% of the guns recovered in
crimes in our city were bought out-of-state.
The chief culprit is the Tiahrt Amendment, which has been
attached to the annual US Department of Justice appropriations
bill since 2003. The Tiahrt Amendment has prevented states,
cities and police from accessing and using ATF gun trace data.
On several occasions, the Tiahrt Amendment has been inserted
into the US Department of Justice appropriations bill without
a vote or full debate.
Gun trace data helps law enforcement determine where illegal
guns are coming from, who buys them and how they get
trafficked into our communities, but the Tiahrt Amendment
restricts access to crime gun data from neighboring
jurisdictions, limits their use in civil enforcement
proceedings, and ended the publication of national ATF reports
on illegal gun trafficking.
By approving the Tiahrt Amendment over the last four years,
some of our elected officials have shamefully aided and
abetted criminals by shielding irresponsible gun dealers.
We urge all elected officials to join the battle against
illegal guns. Follow Mayor Bloomberg's initiative. We have too
many lives being destroyed on a daily basis. We must honor
young Officer Russel Timoshenko and let his short but heroic
life count for something. Help us stop the illegal gun trade
Baldeo, 106-11 Liberty Avenue, Ozone Park, NY 11417, (718)
Community Advocate & State