WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Elise M. Stefanik has put her name to two different bills in Congress that Republicans say would reduce gun violence and mass shootings in schools, as she rejected a crime control measure. guns proposed by House Democrats.
On Tuesday, the congresswoman, along with Reps. Richard L. Hudson, Jr., RN.C, and Carol Miller, RW.V., introduced the Firearms Proficiency and Training Act, which, if it was passed, would create a tax deduction for anyone taking a certified firearms training course, a concealed carry course, and anyone who purchases firearms safety or storage equipment. The taxpayer would be allowed to deduct the full cost of the courses or equipment from their federal tax burden.
The bill has the backing of gun rights lobbyists, and supporters say it will inspire law-abiding Americans to secure their guns and learn how to use them safely.
While some states, such as New York, require firearms safety courses before allowing individuals to purchase handguns or assault weapons, many states require no such requirement. In a 2018 analysis, the Rand Corporation estimated that 61% of American gun owners had taken gun safety courses in 2015.
“As Democrats race to advance their radical gun control agenda, I am proud to lead the charge by introducing legislation to promote gun safety and training,” Representative Stefanik said in a statement. “This bill will empower gun owners to purchase gun safety and storage equipment, as well as training and safety courses.”
The congresswoman also joined fellow Republicans in introducing new legislation they said would help prevent violence and mass shootings in American schools.
The bill, called the STOP II Act, comes after yet another school shooting, this time in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children aged 9 to 11 and two teachers dead at the hands of a gunman 18 years old.
The bill, called the STOP II Act because it builds on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, would spend $7 billion on a grant program that allows schools to pay for additional school resources for police officers, mental health guidance counsellors, active shooter training and “strengthening schools”, where security measures like metal detectors and cameras are installed.
The $7 billion would come from unspent COVID-19 funding and would also require that any funding set aside this year to rent conference rooms in Washington DC to discuss federal education programs be used to support those grants.
Republican lawmakers sponsoring the bill said it would help strengthen campus safety and mental health safety nets to prevent violence before it starts.
“This legislation will help prevent school violence by providing schools with better safety and training, to keep campuses safe and provide mental health resources to avert tragedy,” said MP Stefanik.
Introduced by Rep. Hudson, the bill has the support of 12 Republican co-sponsors, including Rep. Stefanik and Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-Utica, who is running for re-election in the newly redesigned 23rd District that includes Watertown and western Jefferson County.
Legislative support for this school safety bill comes after House Republicans outright rejected the Protecting Our Children Act, which passed the House on Wednesday with just five Republican votes.
This legislation, introduced by Representative Jerrold “Jerry” Nadler, D.N.Y., would raise the age to buy semi-automatic weapons to 21, ban high-capacity magazines and establish a new federal criminal offense front for gun trafficking and illegal gun sales. weapons. It would also aim “ghost weapons”, or weapons that don’t have a serial number to track them.
Co-sponsored by 112 House Democrats, the bill passed with the support of just five House Republicans, including Rep. Chris L. Jacobs, R-Orchard Park, who is stepping down from his seat at the end of his term. term after Republicans sharply criticized him for his support. gun control measures.
Jacobs once planned to run for the congressional district that covers Watertown, before the second round of New York’s redistricting process this year saw him change his plans and declare his candidacy for a more people-focused district. western New York.
However, this bill, with so little Republican support, is unlikely to pass the Senate.
In a statement sent after the vote, Congresswoman Stefanik said she was proud to vote against the legislation, which she said “rips apart the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.” She argued that the law would have little impact on illegal gun owners, while massively punishing law-abiding gun owners. In her statement, the congresswoman promised to continue to oppose gun control measures led by Democrats.
“As far-left Democrats double down on their unconstitutional agenda that tears up our Second Amendment rights, I will continue to defend the Constitution and push for solutions,” she says.