By Steve Mosco
Callers phoned in death threats to U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), the congresswoman revealed this week.
The threats came in the form of phone calls to young interns in the congresswoman’s Upper East Side office after Maloney authored a bill requiring gun owners to have insurance.
“Law enforcement has been notified and they are investigating the calls, and so no further comment from me on the details of the calls would be appropriate at this time,” said Maloney, adding the threats left the interns visibly upset.
Despite the threats, Maloney said she is proud of her work to help curb gun violence and she strongly supports the comprehensive package of gun reforms proposed by President Barack Obama’s administration.
The congresswoman said she authored two pieces of legislation designed to keep communities safer. One bill would strengthen laws against gun trafficking and another would require gun owners to carry liability insurance, just like car owners. She said this would give innocent victims of gun violence some recourse if injured. Maloney said 100,000 Americans are injured by guns every year.
“Carrying insurance is the responsible thing to do,” she said.
Though her staff was shaken by the death threats, Maloney said she will keep fighting for new gun laws in the state.
“Given all the acts of gun violence we have seen in the past two years, the shootings in Aurora and Newtown, the attack on my friend and colleague Gabby Gifford, I take the threat of more gun violence very seriously,” she said. “But it is not something that I will allow to stop me from doing my work.”
Gun ownership rights have become a major topic of discussion in the state in light of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.