Widow of LIRR massacre victim calls Congress gun bills long overdue

Posted: Updated:
GARDEN CITY -

Congress is considering two pieces of legislation that would limit access to guns.

The House of Representatives approved a measure to expand background checks to gun shows and internet sales. The other piece of legislation, set to be tackled on Thursday, would extend the amount of time the FBI has to conduct a background check from three days to 10.

Currently, if a gun buyer does not immediately pass a background check, the FBI has three days to determine whether that person can purchase a firearm. But on the fourth day, if the background check still isn't finished, the sale can proceed anyway.

In December 1993, a gunman shot and killed six people on board a Long Island Rail Road train in Garden City. One of those victims was Joyce Gorycki's husband, James. She calls the bills long overdue.

"It's about time they all get together and vote for safety," she says. "This has to pass. We have to stop the killings, we have to stop the school shootings."

Gorycki says lawmakers voting against the measures "should be ashamed of themselves."

Andrew Chernoff, of Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale, wonders how effective the measures would be when it comes to keeping people safe.

"At what point do we say, 'OK, we've got enough laws, enough with the laws,'" he says. "Let's enforce what we have."

Most Republicans are expected to reject the measures, including U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, of Shirley, who wrote he's voting no because: "The legislation being voted on this week targets law abiding gun owners rather than criminals."

But Seaford Republican Peter King not only supports the bills -- he's co-sponsoring them. By phone, he called it "common sense legislation."

Even with some bipartisan support, the votes are expected to mostly follow party lines. If both do pass the Democrat-controlled House, they could still fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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