Lowey Receives Award from Westchester Organization for Supporting Sensible Gun Safety Measures in Congress

May 29, 2015
Press Release

Westchester Group’s 15th Anniversary Celebration of Million Mom March Highlights the Importance of Gun Violence Prevention

Recent Incidents Involving Domestic Terrorists Accessing Guns, Gun-Running on Metro-North, and a Four-Year-Old Westchester Girl Accidentally Shooting Herself Demonstrate the Need for Improved Gun Safety Measures

Lowey Called a ‘True American Hero’ for Her Work Protecting Families from Gun Violence

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY– Congresswoman Nita Lowey (Westchester/Rockland), the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, today at a Million Mom March/Brady Campaign Northern Westchester Chapter event celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Million Mom March received the Apple Pie Award for her efforts in Congress to advance gun safety measures.

“Sensible gun laws should be as simple as apple pie,” said Lowey. “It’s crystal clear that we have a problem with gun violence in this country, and there is so much more that Congress should be doing. I have supported numerous gun control measures that take steps toward keeping our children, our neighbors, and our communities safe. Moms and families across the United States are fed up with the inaction on gun violence prevention, and I will continue working with national and local groups to ensure all Americans have the right to live in communities free from senseless gun violence.”

The Million Mom March, a national grassroots movement to call attention to the need for improved gun safety measures, held its first rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on Mother's Day 2000 with nearly 750,000 participants, including Congresswoman Lowey, Secretary Clinton, and former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (photo). Approximately 200,000 additional activists in more than 70 cities across the country also participated.

The Northern Westchester Chapter of the Million Mom March/Brady Campaign held a special 15th Anniversary event today with mothers who have lost their children to gun violence and representatives from the Brady Campaign, national Million Mom March, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, and The Newtown Action Alliance.

The Apple Pie Award goes to outstanding elected officials who promote sensible gun laws to keep families safe, but has not been given out since 2002. The Million Mom March/Brady Campaign is bringing the award back for the 15th Anniversary event, and presented the Apple Pie Award to Congresswoman Lowey. Also honored during the event were three individuals central to the first Million Mom March in Washington, DC:

  • Donna Dees-Thomasesestablished the original Million Mom March in 2000 after she was deeply affected by coverage of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center day camp shooting in Grenada Hills, CA, in which five people, including three small children, were killed;
  • Jill Brooke, author of "The Need to Say No," and the editor in chief of Premier Traveler, was an original Million Mom March organizers; and
  • Elise Richmanwas an original organizer of the Million Mom March.

“Prior to the Million Mom March, elected officials who voted to protect families and children from gun violence mostly heard from the other side of the issue -- a small extremist minority who oppose background checks for even for criminals and the violently mentally ill,” said Donna Dees-Thomases, founder of the Million Mom March. “Our Apple Pie Awards have been a way for us moms -- the majority who support common sense gun laws -- to show our appreciation for the courageous votes in Congress for gun safety.”

“Congresswoman Nita Lowey was voting to protect our communities from senseless gun violence long before the Million Mom March and now, 15 years later, she continues to be one of the strongest champions in Congress for gun violence prevention. She is a true American hero. The Northern Westchester Chapter of the Million Mom March/Brady Campaign overwhelmingly voted to honor Rep. Lowey with the Apple Pie Award,” Dees-Thomases added.

“It's great to recognize our leaders across a broad spectrum — from Capitol Hill to our local stomping grounds — for their service in this important movement,” said Kim Russell, regional organizing manager for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Events like this show how we all have an important role to play to help reduce injury and death by gun violence. Determined activists like Donna Dees, founder of Million Mom March, and Congresswoman Nita Lowey are proof that we can and will make a difference.”

“Congresswoman Lowey understands that gun violence is a public health crisis which is why she has devoted her career to championing gun safety legislation,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “She knows that smart gun laws save lives. She is co-sponsoring bills to limit ammunition magazine size, require background checks on all gun sales, regulate internet sales of ammunition and deny firearms to individuals on the terrorist watch list. New York State's strong gun laws are a major reason why New York gun deaths have declined 19 percent from 2003-2013 whereas nationally they have risen 11 percent. New Yorkers Against Gun Violence applauds Congresswoman Lowey's determined efforts to enact common sense federal regulations to keep guns out of dangerous hands. Only when Congress acts will we finally begin to address the nation's appalling gun violence epidemic.”

Gun violence prevention and gun control are important issues for the New York City area. Suspects on the terrorist watch list tried to buy guns from licensed dealers 2,233 times between 2004 and 2014, threatening national security. Gang members used Metro-North trains to engage in a gun-running scheme to bring weapons bought in Port Chester into New York City for resale. A four-year-old Westchester girl recently accidentally shot herself in the face with a handgun.

In the 114th Congress, Lowey is a cosponsor of:

  • The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (H.R. 752) that would ban the importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition;
  • The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act (H.R. 2283) that would require federally licensed dealers to confirm the identity of individuals who arrange to purchase ammunition over the internet by verifying a photo I.D.; and
  • The Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 (H.R. 1076) that would give the Attorney General the authority block suspects on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms.