NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Westchester United, a consortium of congregations and community groups in Westchester County, today hosted gun violence victims police chiefs and elected officials at New Rochelle’s Lincoln Park, the site of a shooting last month where three people were injured.
Speakers included Mary Ann Watkins whose nephew was shot and killed in Yonkers this April and Deacon Nathaniel Adams, of Shiloh Baptist in New Rochelle, whose nephew was accidentally killed by an Automatic Rifle elsewhere along with clergy and police chiefs.
The group will announce the "Do No Stand Idly By Campaign", a national bloc of over 60 gun buying police departments seeking change in the gun industry.
The bloc is endorsed by New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye Brook, as well as governors, mayors, county executives and police chiefs from over 60 jurisdictions in 13 states, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors including New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.
The event in New Rochelle was part of a series of coordinated events in several states where leaders and public officials sought to initiate a conversation with the major manufacturers of firearms serving the American market.
They will do this by submitting a Request for Information (RFI) to major gun companies serving the United States market. Officials in 59 jurisdictions in 13 states - mayors, governors, police chiefs, sheriffs and county executives - will ask seven manufacturers to provide information on their distribution practices, safety technologies, and cooperation with law enforcement
The Request for Information was sent today to Glock (Austria-based, with U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, GA), SIG Sauer (Germany-based, with U.S. headquarters in Exeter, NH), Smith & Wesson (based in Springfield, MA), Colt's Manufacturing Co. (based in West Hartford, CT), Beretta (Italy-based, with U.S. offices in Accokeek, MD), Sturm, Ruger & Co. (based in Southport, CT), and Freedom Group (owned by Cerberus Capital Management, based in
“This effort is led by communities like mine who have buried too many children like my nephew and people who have been victimized like many of our church members,” said Deacon Nathaniel Adams of Shiloh Baptist Church, who has lost several family members to gun violence.
"30,000 Americans will be killed this year by firearms, and many of these deaths are preventable tragedies," said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. "Today, we are asking gun manufacturers to work with us - their customers - to save lives, by ensuring that products purchased with taxpayer dollars are used to protect the public's safety."
NRPD Commissioner Patrick Carroll says the Request for Information is “a set of reasonable questions that any law enforcement officer or agency should know about the companies they buy their guns from.”
The group has a web site: www.donotstandidlyby.org