Thursday, December 08, 2005

George Pataki: Trying To Save The GOP's bacon

Gov fires at Assembly

Pataki accuses Dems of blocking gun legislation


Gov. Pataki accused Assembly Democrats yesterday of standing in the way of a crackdown on gun traffickers - suggesting the legislative logjam could lead to tragedies like the slaying of a Brooklyn cop killed with an illegal firearm.
"I hope now that they will realize that the failure to pass this legislation has very real consequences," Pataki said one day after the funeral of Officer Dillon Stewart, a 35-year-old father of two young daughters.

Pataki has been pushing for mandatory prison time for thugs who peddle multiple guns illegally. But the Assembly leadership's version of a crackdown would allow gunrunners caught with fewer than 20 firearms to get probation.

"It is disappointing to me that today if you have 19 illegal handguns and you are arrested by police, the crime is the same as if you shoplifted an orange from a grocery store," Pataki said, adding, "It is criminal, it is wrong."
That's not entirely true, however it IS true that the Assembly was the only body to do ANYTHING on gun control this year.

This bill was passed in May 2005. And while it does offer severe penalties for more than 20 illegal guns held for the purposes of sale, the penalties for holding even three guns are equivalent to that of holding 20 guns:
Section 6 of the bill amends section 265.02 of the Penal Law defining the class D violent felony of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree by inserting gender-neutral references and by reducing
from 20 to 3 the number of firearms required to be possessed to constitute a violation
of paragraph (i) of subdivision 5 of that section.
So three guns are equivalent to 20 guns in this bill.

The state Senate, led by Joseph "Never Met a Bribe I Didn't Take" Bruno quietly killed this bill before it came to the floor of the Senate.
But aides to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said lawmakers in the lower house this year passed a package of "tough" measures that the Republican-led Senate blocked.
And even took a bite outta Pataki:
Silver sarcastically responded that he was surprised Pataki was speaking out on a New York issue - because the governor's been spending so much time testing the waters for a presidential run.

"Nobody is really governing New York," Silver charged.
The governor's response to this bill and it being stalled? Glad you asked:
Pataki's criminal justice czar, Chauncey Parker, said his boss and the Senate don't support the Assembly bill because it would allow some gun traffickers to get probation.
So some might get probation, but you know what? If it takes ANY guns off the streets right now, why do we care? Let's work that stuff out later.