On Sunday, January 13, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), joined City Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, City Councilman Al Vann, Assemblyman Walter Mosley, District Leader Robert Cornegy, Jr., and other community leaders outside of Von King Park in Bed-Stuy to call for greater governmental intervention in addressing the problem gun violence in central Brooklyn.
At the press conference, Jeffries released a letter addressed to B. Todd Jones, acting director of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the federal agency under the Department of Justice responsible for enforcing the nation's gun laws.
Despite attempts by President Bush and President Obama to appoint an official director, the appointment of an official ATF director has stalled in the senate for more than six years, Jeffries pointed out.
In his letter, Jeffries requested a meeting with Jones to discuss the illegal trafficking of guns into New York City, in light of four recent crime incidents in his district involving firearms: The January 6 fatal shooting of a man outside a local diner in Clinton Hill; the shooting of a 92 year-old woman in East New York; and two more shooting incidents on January 10 of a and the fatal shooting of a 41 year-old ABC news staffer, both in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“This past week there have been several troubling incidents of senseless gun violence that have shocked the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant and other central Brooklyn communities throughout the Congressional District,” said Jeffries at the press conference.
“These shootings are made possible by the presence of illegal firearms that are often trafficked into New York City from states in the deep South and other parts of the country. We must all do more to combat the flood of guns into our neighborhoods.”
Jeffries said, as a member of the House Judiciary committee, he will make combating gun violence a top priority.
"I look forward to working closely with the ATF, my colleagues in government and other community leaders to promote greater enforcement of existing gun laws and the enactment of stronger ones when necessary," he said.