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) which funds police anti-terrorism programs, many of which are opposed by 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. 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. I proudly cosponsored The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-12) which became law in 2015. This law requires instant nationwide “blue alerts” to warn about threats to police officers and help track down the suspects who carry them out. This law also created a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty, and credible threats against law enforcement. I also supported The Thin Blue Line Act, which recently passed the House. This bill increases the penalty for killing or targeting a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder.
Mara Salvatrucha-13 (MS-13) is an exceptionally violent gang and is the only street gang to be designated a Transnational Criminal Organization by the Treasury Department. The extent of this vicious gang’s brutality has hit Long Island at its core. That is why I have made the destruction of MS-13 a main priority -- bringing Attorney General Sessions and President Trump to Long Island to address the issue first hand, working with federal and local law enforcement, obtaining funding for police anti-gang units and meeting with family members of the murdered victims.
It is essential that we stand with law enforcement including the Nassau and Suffolk Police Departments and District Attorneys, the FBI, Homeland Security, ICE, and the Drug Enforcement Agency in the fight against MS-13. Very simply, MS-13 must be eradicated.
In the interest of protecting both our law enforcement officers and society as a whole, I have been a leader in cracking down on illegal gun trafficking, ensuring only qualified individuals are able to purchase weapons, and respecting individual state laws on firearm purchases, all while respecting the Second Amendment Rights of Americans nationwide. During the 115th Congress, I have introduced legislation, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2017 (H.R. 4057). This legislation seeks to close a dangerous loophole that grants individuals on the terrorist watch list an unfettered ability to purchase firearms. The existence of this loophole poses a danger to national security and this bill has consistently received bipartisan support.
I am also an original cosponsor of the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 4240) which provides a responsible and consistent background check process. In addition, I am a cosponsor of the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2017 (H.R. 1475), which amends the federal criminal code to make trafficking in firearms a crime. This bill will help keep illegal guns off the streets, like the one that was used to kill NYPD Detective Brian Moore in 2015.
Lastly, with support from both local district attorneys and law enforcement offices, I opposed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38). I will continue to support and advocate for common sense gun reform in the House.