Gov. Hochul Debates Challengers US Rep Suozzi and Public Advocate Williams on How to Keep New Yorkers Safe

Gov. Hochul Debates Challengers US Rep Suozzi and Public Advocate Williams on How to Keep New Yorkers Safe

By Yehudit Garmaise

With only three weeks remaining until New York’s June 28 gubernatorial primary, on Tuesday night, Gov. Kathy Hochul, took to the debate stage for the first time.

Her two primary Democratic opponents are US Rep Tom Suozzi (D-3rd) and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

With mass shootings and unceasing gun violence, the candidates were asked, “with the Supreme Court poised to overturn all or part of New York’s century-old law that prohibits residents to carry guns without permits, what steps are you prepared to take to prevent our city and state from becoming the Wild, Wild West?

Williams:  The 10-bill legislation package that Gov. Hochul signed yesterday to prevent gun violence primarily addresses mass shootings, but in the Bronx, where the governor signed the bills into law, street crime is more of an issue. 

“Death is happening,” he said.

Hochul: “We cannot have a situation where people can literally carry guns into subways, in grocery stores: with reckless abandon,” Gov. Hochul said. “I pray the Supreme Court does not do that, but we are ready in New York to take action to protect the people of this state.

Suozzi: “When the governor was a member of Congress, she voted with, was endorsed by, and took money from the National Rifle Association (NRA). “I have an “F” rating from the NRA. I co-sponsor every piece of gun violence prevention legislation. 

Andrew Abdullah, 25, who is accused of killing Daniel Enriquez, 48, on the Manhattan-bound Q train on May 22, had a long rap sheet, yet was freed after a judge set his bail at $1, after denying a request for $15,000 bail.

If New York judges, like judges in 49 other states, were allowed to consider the threats to society posed by defendants in court, perhaps Abdullah, would have been behind bars and not out on the streets and the subways, CBS reporter Marcia Cramer said.

Why didn’t you use the consider powers of the governor to veto budget items to enact a “dangerousness statute,” Cramer asked.

Hochul: Instead of just considering defendants’ level of “dangerousness,” which is subjective, Judges now have discretion now to specifically analyze defendants’ histories, the severity of their crimes, whether they had orders of protection before, and whether they used guns.

Suozzi: I 100% support giving judges the discretion to consider “dangerousness” of the defendants who come before them, as judges do in 49 other states.

Williams: “Putting $1 billion into the budget to address gun violence, would not have protected Enriquez. Judges can consider defendants’ ‘dangerousness’ in 49 other states, but those states have gun violence that is worse than New York’s.”

Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

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