ELECTED OFFICIAL REPORT CARDS
Curious where your elected officials stand on gun violence issues? Hudson Valley Stands Up, based on extensive research of voting records and policy issues, has created "report cards" for our elected officials so you can hold them accountable in the voting booth. Scores have been awarded between A+ and F (like a typical school report card), and we also made note if an elected official received our "HVSU Stamp of Approval" based on applications from the 2018 election cycle. Applications for our "HVSU Stamp of Approval" can be accessed on the "Political Involvement" tab on our website. Our report cards below include background information on how that elected official has handled gun violence issues in the past, as well as a summary of our grade. We hope you find them helpful, please spread and share!
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A+
Legislative Track Record: Governor Cuomo has fought for better gun control legislation since taking office. Most notably, Cuomo spearheaded the passage of the groundbreaking NY SAFE Act to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, create an assault weapons registry, and enact other lifesaving gun reforms, even in the face of a state legislature that was resistant to the idea of stricter gun laws. Governor Cuomo also pushed for and signed new laws this year that add further restrictions on firearm possession, a package of bills that includes the Extreme Risk Protection Order (allowing a judge to remove a firearm from a person deemed a reasonable threat to themself or others) and a ban on bump stocks. Most recently, Governor Cuomo signed a bill banning school personnel from carrying firearms on campus (previous law had allowed for written permission from the school district to do so). Governor Cuomo, in cooperation with State Attorney General Letitia James, has also assailed the NRA's nonprofit status in New York State.
Outside Organizations: Governor Cuomo was endorsed for reelection in 2018 by Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and groups associated with former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a prominent gun control advocate following her near death in a shooting. Cuomo received an F rating from the National Rifle Association, a fact that he has proudly displayed during his campaigns for office.
HVSU Grade: Governor Cuomo has been one of the foremost advocates for gun reform during his tenure as New York State Attorney General, and now Governor. His leadership led to New York passing some of the strictest, most progressive gun laws in the country, and he has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to ending the scourge of gun violence by any means necessary. Governor Cuomo's tireless work warrants the highest HVSU grade of A+.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A+
Legislative Track Record: As the US Senate Minority Leader, Senator Schumer has fought for expanded universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, a ban on individuals on the no-fly list acquiring firearms, and a ban on bump stocks. He spearheaded Democratic legislation in 2018 designed to address many of these issues, and urged the Senate to take action in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting with a Senate floor speech, flanked by a #NeverAgain sign. Schumer has also repeatedly cited the work of student activists as a driving force behind the movement for change, though his proposed legislation died in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Outside Organizations: Senator Schumer scored a 100% from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence during his 2016 re-election campaign, and has received support from Everytown for Gun Safety. Schumer has an F rating from the National Rifle Association.
HVSU Grade: Senator Schumer has been a strong advocate for gun control in Washington, and has been a proactive voice when it comes to proposing legislation. Though few of his efforts have been met with success, this is more the consequence of the Republican party controlling the US Senate than a failure on the part of the minority leader. Senator Schumer's commitment to this issue deserves a score of A+.
U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A
Legislative Track Record: During her time as a congresswoman in Upstate New York (representing a district analogous to that currently held by Rep. Antonio Delgado), Gillibrand was a staunch gun rights supporter. She co-sponsored many NRA-backed bills, including measures to block the ATF from updating its recordkeeping procedures and remove from gun dealers any responsibility if they knowingly sold weapons to a dangerous individual. Gillibrand cited "hunters' rights" as her defense, and proudly acknowledged keeping guns beneath her bed. However, upon her elevation to the Senate, Gillibrand's position on gun control changed, even leading her to move the firearms under her bed. She voted against allowing firearms in baggage aboard Amtrak, and voted in favor of restrictions on high-capacity magazines. In her 2020 presidential campaign, Gillibrand has announced her support of universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and a crackdown on gun sale loopholes. She has cited the Sandy Hook massacre and the attempted murder of fellow Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as the impetus behind her abrupt shift on this issue.
Outside Organizations: Gillibrand was endorsed for reelection in 2018 by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her gun control advocacy group, and her gun violence prevention plan has been praised by Everytown for Gun Safety. Gillibrand scored an A+ from the NRA during her tenure in Congress, but her current rating is F.
HVSU Grade: Senator Gillibrand is currently a strong supporter of gun reform. Though her past stances on the issue are concerning (her NRA grade dropped from an A to an F in the span of a week after she was appointed to the Senate) her current stances are in line with what should be expected from an elected official. Senator Gillibrand thus scores an A, factoring in her past discrepancies on the issue.
Congressman Antonio Delgado (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A+
Background Checks: Congressman Delgado co-sponsored H.R. 8, or the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. During his 2018 election, Mr. Delgado stated support for stiffer background checks on a nationwide basis. The Congressman states that he respects the 2nd Amendment, but that "we can't keep ignoring the facts" of gun violence. A transcript of Mr. Delgado's remarks regarding background checks is included below:
“Madam Speaker, I rise today because we must listen to our children. Our children are calling out for us to take action to address the epidemic of gun violence, which has spread to traditionally safe places like schools, concert halls, movie theaters, and places of worship. Our children our growing up under the constant paranoia of gun violence. Try, if you can, to imagine the depth of their fear and anxiety, where nowhere is safe. "
“Last week, I visited seven schools in my district and spoke with students who fear for their safety and stress over our inability to take action on gun violence. We are not even halfway through 2019, and there have already been thirteen school shootings! Is there any mystery behind the student walkouts we experienced last year in response to gun violence?"
“I was proud to support H.R. 8, back in March, in order to achieve long overdue universal background checks – a baseline measure to address gun violence. Now, the Senate must act. I implore my colleagues in the Senate to hear the young people of our county calling for change and to pass H.R. 8. The time is now. I yield back my time.”
Loopholes: Congressman Delgado has stated support for closing dangerous loopholes that allow individuals to access guns even if they would normally be unable to. These loopholes include the gun show loophole (not requiring federal background checks on purchases at a gun show) and the Charleston loophole (allowing a prospective purchaser to receive a weapon after a certain time period automatically if their background check has not been completed). Mr. Delgado has also supported banning bump stocks, like the one used in the Las Vegas shooting to augment a semiautomatic rifle as an automatic one.
Outside Organizations: Mr. Delgado was a Moms Demand Action "Gun Sense Candidate" during his 2018 bid. He has refused to take money from the NRA, which gave him a rating of F.
HVSU Grade: Given Congressman Delgado's staunch support for gun safety measures such as universal background checks and closing gun safety loopholes in federal law, as well as his support for student-led initiatives to combat gun violence, we are happy to give Congressman Delgado a rating of A+. He also applied for and received a 2018 HVSU Stamp of Approval, and HVSU hosted Congressman Delgado for a Youth Town Hall at Arlington High School in June 2019.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A+
Legislative Track Record: Congressman Maloney has a track record of supporting gun safety legislation. His website calls for a ban on assault weapons, raising the legal age to purchase a firearm, improvements to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS), implementing universal background checks, closing loopholes like the gun show loophole, and repealing the Dickey Amendment (which prohibits the CDC from conducting research on gun violence). Maloney also voted for H.R. 8 to address universal background checks. In 2018, Maloney hand-delivered 200 letters from Hudson Valley students on the subject of gun violence to then-House Speaker Paul Ryan. Congressman Maloney is also in favor of banning bump stocks.
Outside Organizations: Maloney was endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety and received support from Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety in America. Maloney received an F rating from the National Rifle Association.
HVSU Grade: Congressman Maloney has a proven track record of fighting for gun safety legislation, both at home in New York and in Washington. He has taken strident stances in favor of common sense gun reform, and against radical anti-safety organizations such as the NRA. Congressman Maloney's record of service clearly warrants an A+ rating from HVSU. He also applied for and received a 2018 HVSU Stamp of Approval.
State Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A
Existing Legislation: Assemblywoman Barrett has stated that New York's existing gun laws must be enforced, such as measures like the NY SAFE Act.
Outside Organizations: The NRA gave Barrett a 79% agreement score as recently as 2012, though that score dropped to just 13% in the 2018 election cycle. Barrett also scored a 0% from the New York Shooters Committee on Public Education.
Legislative Track Record: Assemblywoman Barrett cosponsored A1627, which prohibits state police from imposing a surcharge on recertification of gun licenses. Barrett also cosponsored K1274, which supported the adoption of the month of June as Gun Violence Awareness Month in the state of New York.
HVSU Grade: Assemblywoman Barrett has supported gun safety measures during her time in the Assembly, and is opposed to repealing New York's current gun safety legislation. Assemblywoman Barrett's gun safety stances have been acceptable during her time in Albany, warranting a grade of A. She also applied for and received a 2018 HVSU Stamp of Approval.
State Assemblyman Kieran Lalor (R)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: F
Legislative Track Record: Assemblyman Lalor was one of just 22 votes against a ban on 3-D printed guns in New York. Lalor also attacked a bill designed to prevent individuals on the no-fly list from obtaining a firearm, calling it "politically motivated." Lalor has also attacked the SAFE Act, claiming it to be costly and ineffective.
Outside Organizations: Lalor is a member of the National Rifle Association, and was given a failing grade by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
HVSU Grade: Assemblyman Lalor has shown throughout his tenure a blatant disregard for or open hostility to gun safety legislation. Lalor has opposed every common sense gun safety measure that he has had a chance to vote on, and is proud of it. Assemblyman Lalor receives an F.
State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A
Legislative Track Record: Jacobson was first elected in 2018 and does not have an extensive legislative track record. Jacobson has been a prominent proponent of a ban on 3D printed guns, as well as for the Extreme Risk Protection Order. Jacobson also voted in favor of other gun control legislation this year to regulate gun transport, ban bump stocks, expand background checks, and ban schools from arming teachers.
Outside Organizations: Jacobson received an F from the NYS Rifle Association during his 2018 campaign.
HVSU Grade: Assemblyman Jacobson has supported every piece of gun reform legislation during his short time in Albany, and risen to local prominence for his strong stances on the issue. Assemblyman Jacobson warrants an A.
State Senator Sue Serino (R)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: D-
Legislative Track Record: While in the county legislature, Serino sponsored legislation opposing the NY SAFE Act. She has co-sponsored nearly every bill in the State Senate since her election to that position to repeal the SAFE Act as well. Serino has repeatedly stated that mental health is a larger problem than gun violence, and she sees gun control restrictions as government infringement on the rights of Americans. Serino also voted against a bill that would bar convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a firearm. However, Serino did vote in favor of a bill to ban 3-D printed firearms.
Outside Organizations: Serino was failed by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and has a 93% issues score from the National Rifle Association. The NRA's Political Victory Fund has also donated thousands of dollars to Serino's campaigns for State Senate.
HVSU Grade: Senator Serino has shown steadfast opposition to any kind of gun safety legislation (with the sole exception of regulation of 3D printed guns), and is a vocal opponent of even basic restrictions on gun use. Most shocking was her vote to allow domestic abusers to have access to firearms. Serino must be replaced in the next round of elections, and we accordingly award her a grade of D-.
State Senator Pete Harckham (D)
HVSU Gun Safety Rating: A
Legislative Track Record: Senator Harckham, first elected last year, voted in favor of gun control measures in Albany, including voting for the Extreme Risk Protection Order and legislation to ban bump stocks. Harckham has repeatedly cited statistics showing that stronger gun control laws help to reduce the number of deaths in the affected areas.
Outside Organizations: Senator Harckham was a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate in his 2018 election. Senator Gillibrand also cited Senator Harckham's strong stance in favor of gun control in her endorsement of his campaign. The New York State Rifle Association gave Senator Harckham a rating of F during his 2018 campaign.
HVSU Grade: Senator Harckham has supported every gun safety measure presented to him during his first year in Albany, and has a strong track record of supporting gun safety. Senator Harckham is a strong advocate for gun safety, and receives an A rating.