“I want to let the family and the NYPD know that they have the support, prayers, love and respect of our community.”
The words were spoken last month by Congressman Bob Turner(R-Queens and Brooklyn) at a fund raiser for the daughters of slain NYPD Officer Peter Figoski.
But Turner’s office is declining to say whether or not his support includes proposed federal gun control legislation that in the past has been supported by the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.
In an email sent to Turner’s office last week on Dec. 30, the Chronicle included a passage from the PBA’s 2003 endorsement of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) praising the senator for his “strong and steadfast advocacy of law enforcement and gun control initiatives,” and for being “a staunch supporter of gun control and ... a constant and aggressive advocate for a ban on assault weapons and cop killer bullets.”
The email also included the comment that members of the PBA know “that when the chips are down, we can count on Senator Charles Schumer.”
In an interview with the Chronicle during his campaign, Turner responded to that statement by saying that while his answer is complicated, he is a believer in the Second Amendment, which stipulates the right of citizens to bear arms.
The Dec. 30 email from the Chronicle asked if Turner’s support for the NYPD as stated at the Figoski fund raiser includes “a reconsideration of his views on gun laws that might impede the flow of handguns into New York City from southern and southwestern states, gun shows and online and other private sales.”
The Chronicle also asked if Turner supports legislation proposed by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-LI) that would ban the sale of extended-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets and that would require background checks on sales of weapons at gun shows and through other private sales.
“Congressman Turner is proud ofhow once again, New Yorkers have shown their willingness to support their neighbor during a difficult time,” said Turner spokesman Trey Stapleton in an emailed response. “The generosity from the community towards the family of Officer Peter Figoski is another example of New Yorkers coming together to aid the family of one of our city’s finest and he encourages New Yorkers who can to donate to the Figoski college fund. Right now our focus should be on helping the family get through the difficult months and years ahead.”
The email did not address the fund raiser quotes or Turner’s position on firearms.
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment on this story, but Kelly long has been an advocate of clamping down on what he has termed “the iron pipeline” through which handguns obtained in states with less stringent gun sale laws make their way into the city. A PBA spokesman declined to comment.
Figoski was killed Dec. 12 while responding to a robbery in progress in Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct. Lamont Pride, a 27-year-old fugitive from North Carolina, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting him in the head.
The gun that killed Figoski originally was purchased in Virginia. The original owner claimed to have lost the weapon when it was put into storage.
McCarthy’s husband was one of six people killed and their son one of 19 wounded by a gunman on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993.
Her office said Tuesday that the Fix Gun Check Act, introduced in March 2011, would increase penalties for states that do not fully comply with federal laws to supply a national database with names of those such as the mentally ill who would not pass a state firearms background check.
While gun stores around the country are required to conduct background checks on all seeking to purchase handguns, the law does not apply to sales made at gun shows or conducted between individuals.