Sen. Gustavo Rivera says he hopes to see bipartisan movement on common sense gun legislation in the State Senate but as we reported today it won't likely be easy to move gun laws through the state Senate because of partisan issues.
"This is another reason why the Democrats should in the majority. If we were in the majority we would be able to introduce legislation that would make it harder for criminals to own guns. As it is we will have to pressure the Republican led majority."
The coalition made up of Senate Republicans and the 5-member Independent Democratic Conference currently controls the Senate and Republicans have recieved plenty of cash from the National Rifle Association and have traditionally opposed stronger gun legislation.
The IDC has backed some measures like microstamping but a spokesman would not go into details with the Gazette about legislation they might support in the future. Gun legislation could be a wedge issue for Republicans and the IDC.
Despite the highly partisan nature of the State Senate at the moment Rivera says he thinks the time has come for gun violence issues to unite both parties.
"This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is a bipartisan issue. We have to talk about how make to make it harder for criminals to get guns. I agree with the president that we can't really afford to think of this as "the new normal" we have to talk about it across party lines."