Gillibrand removes guns from under bed
Related mediaU.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has moved the two rifles that she kept under the bed to protect her upstate New York home, her spokesman said Monday.
"Given that the location of the guns has been disclosed, they have been moved for security reasons," Gillibrand's spokesman Matt Canter said.
She relocated the guns over the weekend while upstate to endorse Democrat Scott Murphy in the March 31 election to replace her in the 20th District, he said.
He also said Gillibrand, mother of a 5-year-old and an infant, kept the ammunition separate from the empty guns, and then later called to add that the rifles were locked in a case while stored under the bed. She had refused to describe her gun safety measures.
Gun-control activists questioned the safety of placing guns under a bed where children can find them and burglars look first. The National Rifle Association said it is up to gun owners to safely store weapons.
Gillibrand disclosed she had guns under her bed in an interview with Newsday last Thursday. A Newsday story on the interview ran Monday, prompting reactions by advocates for gun rights and gun control.
Gov. David A. Paterson, Sen. Charles Schumer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg declined to comment through their aides.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), a gun-control activist threatening a primary challenge to Gillibrand over her pro-gun stance, said Friday said she does not criticize legally owned guns. McCarthy added, "I hope the guns didn't have bullets in them."
Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford), who has said he might run against Gillibrand, joked, "With Kirsten Gillibrand keeping two rifles under the bed and Chuck Schumer being so anti-gun, Schumer and Gillibrand have to be the Senate's oddest couple."
Gillibrand said she will make her first visit as U.S. senator to Long Island Friday. The trip's details haven't been released.
Gillibrand also has not replied to requests for a meeting by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said the group's executive director, Jackie Hilly.
As a result, Hilly said, the group will hold a rally on New York's City Hall steps Thursday to urge Gillibrand to work to pass three gun control bills. It will feature Lois Schaffer, a Great Neck woman whose daughter was shot and killed in her St. Louis home last December by teens with a stolen gun.
Long Islanders both criticized and defended Gillibrand.
"I am very upset about the whole thing," said Joyce Gorycki of Mineola, widow of a Long Island Rail Road official killed in the 1993 train shooting and co-chair of Long Island's New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. "I don't know why she needs two rifles."
But Tomasz Lorenc of Glen Cove, shopping at American Outdoor Sports in Farmingdale, said, "More power to her. There's nothing wrong with that. You have the right to bear arms."
Meanwhile, a search of the Lexis-Nexis database showed that Gillibrand has a Montana hunting license. But Canter said it's actually a fishing license.
Staff writer Ari Goldstein contributed to this story.