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Gillibrand takes aim at illegal gun shipments

WBFO News file photo

Getting gun control legislation through Congress isn't impossible but it isn't easy. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand believes there is bipartisan backing for legislation to criminalize interstate shipments of illegal guns.

The Albany-area Democrat says hundred of guns are coming into New York from states with limited or no restrictions on gun purchases. Many come north on Interstate 95 along the so-called "Iron Pipeline." She says three-police officers have been killed recently with guns smuggled into the Empire State.

"Gun trafficking is hurting our state. We have to crack down and we have to do our job to stop it," Gillibrand said during a media conference call.

"In Albany, the feds recovered 121 guns in 2013. In Syracuse, 317 guns were recovered. In Buffalo, 579 guns were recovered. And, in Rochester, 624 guns were recovered.

Gillibrand says the problem is that shipping in these illegal guns isn't a federal crime but should be. She says members of both houses of Congress want change. At the same time, the senator says she will block attempts to water down New York's gun restrictions by allowing residents of other states to bring in their guns if legal in their home states.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.