U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who campaigned upstate for Congress last year as a stalwart opponent of gun control, vowed after meeting with the parents of a slain Brooklyn high school senior yesterday that she would lead a fight against gun violence, the New York Times reports. Gillibrand, who has a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association, did not disavow any previous votes, but said she would work to end illegal gun trafficking and to give young people in cities expanded access to after-school programs, job training and other alternatives to gangs.
Gillibrand is adjusting some of her positions noticeably to conform to the state's Democratic mainstream. “We do need to fight against gun violence,” she said. “We do need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.” An official involved in Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group formed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that includes hundreds of mayors, cited a bill the group had asked Gillibrand to oppose, but that she later agreed to co-sponsor. That bill, which did not come up for a vote, would have permanently codified the Tiahrt Amendment, preventing the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from issuing reports on gun trace data that law-enforcement agencies use in anti-trafficking efforts.