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HR 1565 is new legislation in Congress to expand Brady background checks on gun sales. But despite the fact that nine in 10 Americans support expanded background checks, the gun lobby extremists are working overtime to kill the bill.
Strong, sensible gun laws preserve Second Amendment rights, prevent gun violence, and save lives.
While the Brady Law requires criminal background checks of gun sales at gun stores, these checks are not required at gun shows, online sales and other venues where unlicensed sellers operate.
Right now in most states, felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill can walk into a gun show, flea market or even log on to the internet and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers, no questions asked.
Congress should require a simple criminal background check on gun sales. The Brady Law has stopped over 2 million felons and domestic abusers from getting guns at gun stores. Now it’s time to finish the job.
Completing the necessary paperwork for background checks takes mere minutes, and more than 91 percent of these checks are completed instantaneously.
I strongly support the Second Amendment. However, this right also requires basic responsibility, and as a society we are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people like criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill.
In addition, there are exemptions from a check between family members, hunters and sportsmen who temporarily want to exchange firearms while hunting or participating in sports shooting activities.
I urge every reader to contact their representatives today and ask them to co-sponsor the bipartisan King-Thompson bill (H.R. 1565) to expand criminal background checks and save lives.
The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation has reached an agreement with a Long Island real estate developer on a project that is slated to bring “a big-box retail store” and a 500-space parking garage to 168th Street.
The Blumenfeld Development Group has worked on numerous projects in the city, including the transformation of the old Bulova Watch Co. complex on Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst into a corporate office center.
Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), who agreed to wear a wire for the FBI in 2012 as state and federal prosecutors closed in on her, is scheduled to be sentenced today on a wire-fraud charge in federal court in Brooklyn.
The disgraced former senator provided “evidence useful to law enforcement” during conversations she had with three elected officials while wearing an FBI wire in July and August of 2012, all after she was cornered by the bureau and federal prosecutors for her role in siphoning money from “a bogus nonprofit.”
Powerful state Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) allegedly contacted an employee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn in an effort to identify potential witnesses in a mortgage fraud investigation, and to determine if Sampson himself was being investigated.
A nine-count indictment of Sampson unsealed on Monday alleges the senator told an associate who was a defendant in the case that if witnesses could be identified, Sampson could arrange to “take them out.”
Powerful state Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) surrendered to the FBI on Monday morning ahead of the unsealing of a nine-count federal indictment charging him with embezzlement, obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents.
Sampson, an attorney, allegedly took the money to finance a run for Brooklyn District Attorney.
Shot in Southeast Queens, “Let’s Get Bizzee” is a feature film that is said to truly inspire youngsters to make a change and be a part of the political process, according to director Carl Clay.
Clay’s re-released film will be featured on May 10 at the Black Spectrum Theatre followed by a panel discussion hosted by state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) on “Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?” at the event.
Congressman Gregory Meeks has had ethical clouds raised during his career, while state Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested one month ago on federal corruption charges. Some have questioned if investigations of African American politicians are racially motivated.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and his close associates, both political and personal, appear to be keeping a low profile since Tuesday morning, when the seven-term senator was arrested on federal charges that include bribery, wire fraud and conspiracy.
Smith, 56, was arrested at his home in Queens by FBI agents as the result of a 28-page federal complaint charging him with attempting to bribe two city Republican officials in an effort to secure the Republican nomination for mayor.
Congressman Gregory Meeks brought residents up to date last Monday on the goings-on in Washington, DC, from gun control legislation to the budget sequester, and just how hard it could hit New York City.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, left, with Reps. Gregory Meeks and Hakeem Jeffries in Ozone Park last weekend where the two Congress members formally endorsed a plan to bring rail service back to the abandoned Rockaway Beach Long Island Rail Road line.
Even as opponents of both projects keep their voices in the mix, proposals to reactivate the Rockaway Beach Long Island Rail Road line, or convert the right of way into a park similar to Manhattan’s High Line, are both moving forward.
The plan to bring trains, or some form of transit, back to the line, which was abandoned in 1962, got support from two high-ranking officials last week.
The last time he hosted a legislative breakfast for community leaders and the clergy, Congressman Gregory Meeks (Queens, Nassau) represented the 6th District, the Rockaways had electricity and infrastructure, and the term “sequester” was not on the evening news on a nightly basis.
“I wanted to have this a lot sooner, but a lot of things have happened since the last time,” Meeks told a crowd of about 200 community leaders at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Albans.
Rep. Gregory Meeks
U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) led the United States delegation to the state funeral of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on March 8.
Meeks, the senior member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, was part of an eclectic gathering at the funeral that included civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Students of The Aquinas Honor Society at the Immaculate Conception School in Jamiaca Estates have had a difficult time erecting a plaque honoring President George Washington’s visit to Jamaica 223 years ago.
Since 2011, the students, along with historian and moderator Carl Ballenas, have been gathering information and vintage photographs of a hotel and tavern where Washington dined and slept during a visit to Queens in 1790.
Longtime Democratic stalwart Joan Flowers has announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 27th City Council District.
“I believe the district needs qualified representatives,” Flowers said. “I have the necessary set of skills required to serve the district.”
Recent reporting about Hurricane Sandy centers on the $60.4 billion aid package Congress enacted at the end of January, fully 90 days after the super storm devastated coastal areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This unprecedented delay was caused by unprecedented and unfathomable opposition from Republicans in the House of Representatives, many of whom represent districts that benefited from billions in federal aid when natural disasters struck.
Some of the coverage implies that now all is well. Beleaguered New Yorkers — particularly my constituents on the Rockaway Peninsula, one of the areas Sandy hit hardest — should not allow themselves to believe our collective ordeal has come to an end or that no future federal aid will be needed.
Rep. Gregory Meeks
Former City Councilwoman Juanita Watkins, the first black woman to represent a Council District in Southeast Queens, died Jan. 20 after battling a long illness. She was 78.
Watkins won election in 1991 and served the 31st District for three terms. During her time in office, she funded numerous projects and organizations for the betterment of the community including libraries, school computer labs, park rehabilitation, after-school programs, senior citizen nutrition and recreation programs, local development corporations and youth service organizations.
In his acceptance speech in November, President Obama asked the country for its support in his second term.
And members of the Queens community, with the assistance of the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP, were happy to oblige him on Monday.
The Queens Jewish Community Council on Sunday welcomed former Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Queens) as a Congresswoman, and veteran Representative Steve Israel (D-Queens, LI) to the neighborhood.
The group hosted its annual legislative breakfast at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, an event that has become a popular stop with those in Queens either holding or seeking public office.
The borough’s congressional delegation added three new faces to its roster on Jan. 3 with the swearing in of Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and Steve Israel (D-Long Island)
Queens’ new legislators entered the 113th Congress at a time of deep partisan division and mounting fiscal headaches. All three promised to ignore the Democrat-Republican divide in the House of Representatives so as to put their constituents first.
The House Ethics Committee, last week, cleared Rep. Gregory Meeks of any wrongdoing regarding a loan he received from indicted real estate broker, Edul Ahmad.
This year in Southeast Queens, there were plenty of highs and lows, accomplishments and disappointments, most involving crime and politics.
In an effort to curb violence, two gun buybacks were held, resulting in 564 weapons being taken off the street. But there were still several shootings, including a triple homicide involving an AK-47 and another in which a Nassau County cop was killed.
Politics in middle and southwestern Queens was the favorite sport outside of Citi Field in 2012, and the worst storm to hit the region in 74 years devastated some while causing others just a few flickers of their lights.
As the year began, the city filed an appeal of a ruling by federal Judge Nicholas Garaufus that found discrimination on the part of the FDNY against African-American firefighters in the testing and hiring process.