Phillips supports gun control measures a week after voting with GOP against them

Phillips supports gun control measures a week after voting with GOP against them
State Sen. Elaine Phillips said in a statement she supports similar gun control measures to ones she once voted against. (Photo courtesy of the office of Elaine Phillips)

State Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) came out in support of gun control measures on Monday, nearly a week after she voted with her party against Democratic-backed gun control proposals.

In a statement, Phillips laid out five steps to help prevent shootings like the recent one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that killed 17 people.

Phillips’ five steps are similar to the gun control proposals she chose not to support last Wednesday when, according to The New York Times, Democrats tried to force the Republican majority to vote on gun control measures with a hostile amendment – attaching the proposals to an existing bill.

The measures called for longer background checks, the formation of an institution to study gun violence, giving courts the ability to prevent potentially violent people from buying guns and a ban on possession of bump stocks, according to The Times.

According to her statement, Phillips supports comprehensive background checks, a ban on military-style assault weapons, a ban on bump stocks and “a real and workable mechanism” that prevents people who pose a threat from having access to firearms.

The fifth step in Phillips’ plan is to support legislation that classifies mass shootings as domestic terrorism so law enforcement officials can use use anti-terrorism tools to “connect the dots.” 

According to the New York Post, Phillips fled from a reporter who asked about her position on gun control last Tuesday.

A Phillips spokesman, Stephen Romano, said Phillips was busy going to constituent meetings when approached by the reporter. Her office has been in contact with the reporter since, he said.

In a separate statement given to Blank Slate Media, Phillips said for a long time she has been “concerned over the continued school violence throughout our country and the gun violence that goes hand and hand with these tragedies.”

“This week we passed a comprehensive school safety package – but I believe these measures need to be coupled with sensible gun regulations to ensure schools remain safe havens where children learn and teachers educate,” Phillips said.

Her initial hesitance to support the gun control efforts brought a backlash from some constituents, who questioned her ability to form her own stances on issues.

Charles Maass, a Manhasset resident, said in a letter to the editor for Blank Slate Media, “if Elaine Phillips will not break with her party on this important issue, will she ever stand up for her constituents?”

Brad Schwartz, a Port Washington resident who is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Phillips next November, said in a letter to the editor for Blank Slate Media that Phillips has “proven herself to be the sitting senator who refuses to stand up.”

Schwartz said he believes in confronting gun violence head on and recently signed the No NRA Money pledge.

“You either stand with the kids and on the side of public and school safety, with our first responders and for sensible gun measures, or you stand with unfettered access to military weapons that do not belong anywhere remotely near civilians and children,” Schwartz said.

No posts to display


  1. Perhaps we need to provide the same protection for our children at school as we do for politicians in government buildings. The answer is not gun control.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here