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 now!

Albert Baldeo, 106-11 Liberty Avenue, Ozone Park, NY 11417, (718) 529-2300
Community Advocate & State Senate candidate





  AlbertBaldeo.Com 2005