April 2, 2018 (Rochester, NY) – On March 30, 2018 the State Senate voted on Senate Bill S8121, which amends the law to prevent persons convicted of certain domestic violence offenses from possessing a firearm. This bill, which was sponsored by Republican Senator Elaine Phillips (7th District), represents a bipartisan effort to reduce gun violence in our communities. Only 19 Senators voted against this bill, among them 55th District Senator Rich Funke. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/S8121
Funke’s Democratic challenger, Jen Lunsford, called on the Senator to explain his vote. “A woman is five times more likely to be murdered in a domestic violence dispute if her abuser has access to a gun. (https://everytownresearch.org/guns-domestic-violence/)Upwards of 50% of mass shooters have a history of domestic abuse. (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44126.pdf) Preventing convicted domestic abusers from possessing a firearm makes basic sense-- which is why this bill had such broad bipartisan support. Why Senator Funke voted against this common-sense bill is simply beyond me. I am eager to hear the Senator’s rationale.”
Lunsford has called for comprehensive gun safety reform, including the provisions in this bill, a ban on bump stocks, funding for gun violence research and strengthening our background check laws; many proposals that have stalled in the Republican-controlled State Senate.
“The people of this community are literally yelling for stronger gun safety laws,” Lunsford continued. “Perhaps Senator Funke would appreciate how many of his constituents support this bill if he had come to the March for Our Lives or met with the young activists who helped organize the school walkout. Senator Funke has closed his ears to the shouts of his constituents who are telling him ‘Enough is Enough.’”
Jen Lunsford is currently seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to take on Senator Rich Funke in the 2018 General Election. Jen currently lives in Penfield with her husband Scott Hildebrandt and their son, Mack. She is currently an attorney at Segar & Sciortino where she advocates for people at some of the most difficult times in their lives. She also serves as the Co-Chair of Lawyers for Good Government, a progressive legal activist group, and sits on the board of the Anthony Poselovich Memorial Foundation, which helps families.
*Sen. Funke received 93% rating from NRA in 2016. VoteSmart.org