Crime Control & Law Enforcement
Throughout my time in Congress, I have had a long-standing record of supporting police and law enforcement. Below is some of the recent work I have done in Congress to assist law enforcement and fight crime:
Support Funding for our Law Enforcement
As the son of a police officer, I know how important it is to make sure our law enforcement officers have the funding and tools they need to keep our streets safe. I have strongly supported the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) aggressive counterterrorism program and opposed its liberal critics such as the New York Times, the Associated Press, and the ACLU. I have repeatedly advocated for and secured: annual funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, which provides federal justice funding grants for state and local governments to support law enforcement programs, courts, and drug treatment programs; as well as the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program, which provides federal grants to state and local law enforcement to hire and train officers, purchase and deploy new crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test new and innovative policing strategies. Even though our current debt crisis makes fiscal restraint critical, we must ensure that our law enforcement officers have the funding they need to continue protecting and serving our communities.
Deter Crimes Targeting Police Officers
Given recent tragic incidents of police ambushes, it is important that Congress work to deter crimes targeting police officers. The recently enacted Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-12), which I cosponsored, requires instant nationwide “blue alerts” to warn about threats to police officers and help track down the suspects who carry them out. Under the law, the DOJ will create a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty, and credible threats against law enforcement.
Crack Down on Illegal Gun Trafficking
Illegal guns have plagued the streets of New York. In 2003, two NYPD detectives lost their lives after being shot point-blank in a sting operation to purchase illegal guns. Just this year, NYPD Detective Brian Moore lost his life at the hands of an illegal gun. That is why I introduced the Detectives Nemorin, Andrews, and Moore Anti-Gun Trafficking Act (H.R. 2374). My legislation respects Americans’ Second Amendment rights while seeking to crack down on those who break our laws by trafficking in illegal guns and committing crimes with stolen weapons.
Block Terrorists from Buying Firearms and Explosives
Right now federal law prohibits nine categories of dangerous persons from purchasing or possessing firearms. Remarkably, persons on the terrorist watch lists are not among these prohibited purchasers. After 9/11, it makes no sense that the federal government cannot stop gun sales to suspected terrorists. My legislation – the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2013 (H.R. 1076) – closes this glaring gap in federal background checks. This legislation was first endorsed by President Bush’s Justice Department, and has support on both sides of the aisle.