ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) — Strong criticism came down Thursday from some state and local lawmakers in response to a federal bill co-sponsored by Long Island Rep. George Santos.
The bill would declare an "AR-15 style rifle" to be the "National Gun of the United States."
It was introduced last week by Alabama Republican Rep. Barry Moore.
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Santos, who represents New York's 3rd District, is one of three Republicans signed on as co-sponsors.
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New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul is not mincing words in her reaction to the news.
A statement from Hochul shared Thursday reads:
It's outrageous and appalling that New York Congressman Santos would attach his name to legislation that would designate the AR-15 as the 'national gun of the United States.' This weapon of war has been used in mass shootings across the United States - from my hometown of Buffalo, where the shooter used a modified AR-15 to murder ten people in a despicable act of white supremacist terrorism, to Parkland, Florida, where the shooter killed seventeen innocent people with an AR-15-style weapon. The families and friends of those killed in Parkland have become heroic advocates for gun safety - including the Beigel-Schulman family of Dix Hills, who fight for change in memory of their son, Scott. This bill, which attempts to glorify the weapons that have been part of such horrific tragedies, adds unforgivable insult to injury for those families. It should never become law, and Congressman Santos should immediately remove his name from it, if he has any respect for New Yorkers.
Hochul's response has seen support on social media from fellow Democrat, Albany Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, who called it "the dangerous side of electing someone like Santos to Congress."
In an exclusive interview with WABC News in New York City Thursday, Rep. Santos explained his stance as pro-second amendment, with gun rights being part of his campaign for Congress.