Hochul bashes Santos for co-sponsoring AR-15 bill

Hochul bashes Santos for co-sponsoring AR-15 bill
U.S. Rep. George Santos. (Photo courtesy of the congressman)

Gov. Kathy Hochul bashed U.S. Rep. George Santos for co-sponsoring a bill to make the AR-15 the “national gun of the United States” last week.

Hochul, in a statement, criticized the embattled congressman for his connection to the bill. Santos had previously been seen on the House floor wearing an AR-15 lapel pin on his jacket before introducing the legislation.

“It’s outrageous and appalling that New York Congressman Santos would attach his name to legislation that would designate the AR-15 as the ‘national gun of the United States’,” Hochul said.

Hochul urged Santos to remove himself from the legislation, especially due to the recent mass shooting in Buffalo and for the connection a Dix Hills family has to the Parkland, Fla. shootings. AR-15s were used in both shootings.

“This weapon of war has been used in mass shootings across the United States – from my hometown of Buffalo, where the shooter used a modified AR-15 to murder ten people in a despicable act of white supremacist terrorism, to Parkland, Florida, where the shooter killed seventeen innocent people with an AR-15-style weapon,” Hochul said.

Scott J. Beigel, who grew up in the Roslyn area, taught geography and coached the cross-country team at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland before he was one of the 17 people killed in February 2018. A gunman entered the school equipped with a AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and pulled the fire alarm.

Biegel was seen on footage herding 31 students to safety in his classroom before he was shot. His mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, has led a foundation in her son’s name and worked to pass gun violence legislation and spoken across the country on the topic of gun violence.

The Roslyn-area native attended the 2020 State of the Union with Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and gave a talk on her experiences alongside Suozzi at Temple Beth Sholom in East Hills, the temple she attended growing up. Beigel Schulman agreed with Hochul’s comments on Santos last week.

“I stand with @GovKathyHochul against this deplorable act by @Santos4Congress,” she tweeted. “New low for someone who can’t go lower.”

Efforts to reach Santos for comment on the matter were unavailing.

The newly elected congressman has been the subject of multiple investigations on various levels for lying about his personal, professional and financial background since being elected to the 3rd Congressional District seat in November.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee several weeks ago for allegedly violating the Ethics in Government Act, saying the Republican must be held accountable for deceiving voters and Congress.

The Ethics in Government Act, officials said, was created to “preserve and promote the integrity of public officials and institutions,” which Torres and Goldman said they believe Santos has failed to adhere to.

A nonpartisan ad hoc group, Concerned Citizens of NY-03 sent out a press release expressing their support for the expulsion resolution on Thursday, saying that Santos is “unfit to serve in Congress.”

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