Rochester Officer Daryl Person, shot and killed in the line of duty.

Rochester Officer Daryl Pierson.

The death this week of Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson–allegedly by a career criminal using an illegal gun–is another stark reminder that Congress has failed its constituents.

New York State has strong gun laws, so criminals like the suspect in this case, Thomas Johnson, are prevented from buying guns in our state. But illegal guns are still easy to get. And many of these guns flow into New York from states with weak gun laws–like Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and others.

So as Congress  repeatedly fails to act in passing stronger federal gun laws, they continue to make it easy for criminals to obtain guns–resulting in tragic shooting deaths like Officer Pierson’s, as well as so many others each day.

Take action!

Tell Congress to pass strong federal gun laws to reduce illegal guns coming into New York State.  Find your representative’s contact information here.

NYAGV Statement on Rochester Policeman Shooting Death

New York, NY–September 5, 2014—New Yorkers Against Gun Violence issued a statement today about the death of Rochester Police Officer Daryl R. Pierson, who was shot and killed earlier this week in the line of duty protecting the citizens of the city of Rochester:

We are saddened to hear of the recent tragic shooting death of Rochester Police Officer Daryl R. Pierson and the shooting injury of a bystander during the incident. The death of any police officer, making the ultimate sacrifice and giving his life in the line of duty, diminishes us all. That Officer Pierson lost his life to gun violence is especially abhorrent to us as the answer for safe, sane, sensible gun legislation continues to elude us—and we must hold our elected federal legislators accountable for their lack of courage and action..

According to police reports, the alleged shooter—a career criminal with convictions for robbery and weapons possession–used a 25-caliber handgun with a defaced serial number to shoot Officer Pierson. The alleged shooter must have obtained his gun illegally—since as a convicted criminal, he would not have been able to buy one in New York, due to our state’s strong gun laws.

This tragic case demonstrates how easy it is for criminals to obtain illegal guns, which are often trafficked into New York from states with loose gun laws, like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida.

To stop the flow of illegal guns into our state, we need strong federal gun laws such as universal background checks and anti-trafficking measures. Federal laws are the only way to ensure that all states adhere to some level of common sense and responsibility in preventing needless gun deaths and injuries.

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