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THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2021                                   THE QUEENS TIMES                                                             PAGE 3



         Gillibrand, Joined by Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, Announces                                       Queens Chamber Of Commerce
                         Federal Gun Trafficking Legislation                                    Applauds Federal Aviation Administration

            (Continued from page 1)  victions nearly impossible. The  communities and deter gun traf-  For Approval Of Laguardia Airtrain
                                     re-introduction of the legislation  ficking, which is why I’m proud
                  U.S.  Senator  Kirsten   comes as shooting incidents have  to support the Hadiya Pendleton       The, the Queens Chamber of  Airport will catalyze economic
        Gillibrand, joined by Brooklyn  spiked by 73 percent in New York  and  Nyasia  Pryear-Yard  Gun  Commerce, Queens’ oldest and  activity that supports local busi-
        Borough  President  Eric  Ad-  City since May 2020, driven in  Trafficking & Crime Prevention  largest business association, issues  nesses and local communities, and
        ams, stood in front of Brooklyn  part by the proliferation of illegal  Act. I thank Senator Gillibrand  the following statement on behalf  comes at a time when many small
        Borough  Hall  to  announce  the  handguns.                for her leadership on this critical  of President and CEO Tom Grech  businesses in Queens are strug-
        Hadiya  Pendleton  and  Nyasia       “Right now, there’s no federal  issue,” said Brooklyn Borough  in response to the Federal Aviation  gling to survive after a difficult
        Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking &  law that defines gun trafficking  President Eric Adams.  Administration’s approval of the  year. We are thankful to the Port
        Crime Prevention Act. Named for  across state lines as a crime. We       The Hadiya Pendleton and  LaGuardia AirTrain:  Authority, and to all of the local
        two teenage girls in Brooklyn and  need to make gun trafficking a  Nyasia  Pryear-Yard  Gun  Traf-       “The Queens Chamber of Com-  business leaders, economic de-
        Chicago, IL, the bill seeks to ad-  federal crime so that we can keep  ficking  &  Crime  Prevention  merce is delighted that the Federal  velopment groups, transportation
        dress the illegal transfer of guns  these illegal guns off our streets  would:          Aviation Administration has ap-  advocates, labor unions, and civic
        across state lines by establish-  and out of the hands of those who  •    Amend the Federal Criminal  proved The LaGuardia AirTrain,  stakeholders who helped push this
        ing gun trafficking as a federal  would not be allowed to buy them  Code  to  make  trafficking  in  a project that will be a boon to  vital project forward.”
        crime.  The  bill  would  provide  legally.  The  Hadiya  Pendleton  firearms a federal crime. Makes  Queens’ business community and       About the Queens Chamber of
        law enforcement and prosecutors  and  Nyasia  Pryear-Yard  Gun  it  unlawful  to  ship  or  receive  our entire region. Not only will the  Commerce:
        with the tools to go after those  Trafficking & Crime Prevention  two or more firearms where the  AirTrain create 3,000 construction  The Queens Chamber of Com-
        directly  involved  in  the  illegal  Act is a commonsense reform that  individual knows or has reason to  jobs, $500 million in contracting  merce is the oldest and largest
        movement of guns across state  is urgently needed,” said Senator  believe the firearms were unlaw-  opportunities for MWBEs, and  business association in Queens,
        lines, gun dealers acting illegally,  Gillibrand. “I want to especially  fully obtained.   target local residents for new, per-  representing  more  than  1,400
        individuals who organize the gun  thank Jennifer Pryear, Nyasia’s  •    Address firearms traffick-  manent AirTrain operations and  businesses and more than 150,000
        trafficking rings and those who  mother, for her strength, vision,  ing  at  each  stage.  Goes  after  maintenance jobs, but creating a  Queens-based  employees.  Its
        conspire to traffic guns. Senator  and tireless advocacy on behalf  individuals who buy two or more  reliable rail link between midtown  mission is to foster connections,
        Gillibrand will be reintroducing  of her daughter and other parents  guns with the intent to illegally  Manhattan will enhance our econ-  educate  for  success,  develop/
        the bill this week.          who  have  lost  children  to  gun  transfer  them  to  a  person  who  omy and take cars off the road,  implement programs and advocate
             According to the Bureau of  violence. In order to be successful  is legally prohibited from pos-  benefitting our environment.”  for  members’  interests.  www.
        Justice Statistics, there are more  in getting these weapons off our  sessing  a  firearm,  gun  dealers       “This investment in LaGuardia  queenschamber.org
        than 400,000 gun crimes com-  streets, we must listen to and fol-  who  illegally  sell  firearms  to
        mitted resulting in about 14,000  low the leadership of those closest  traffickers,  and  persons  who   Queens Native Promoted in Rank to
        homicides each year. Estimates  to the violence, whose experience  conspire with and organize gun
        from  the  New  York  Attorney  can inform equitable solutions.”   trafficking rings.        U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
        General’s office have found that            “Gun  violence  has  unfor-  •    Establish stiff penalties to
        in 9 out of 10 of these crimes in  tunately  become  the  norm  in  deter gun trafficking. Traffickers
        New York City, where the gun  communities  across  our  city  could face up to 20 years in prison
        has  been  successfully  traced,  – especially Black, Brown, and  and be fined up to $250,000 under
        it originated from out of state.  poor communities. We know a  Title 18, of the federal criminal
        Despite the illegal movement of  major driver of this crisis is the  code.
        guns across state lines, there is  over-proliferation of handguns in  •    Additional penalties for a gun
        currently no federal law to de-  these communities. I am renew-  trafficker acting in concert with
        fine gun trafficking as a crime.  ing my call for a Joint Gun and  five or more other people where
        A lack of federal law results in  Gang Task Force to deal with the  the  individual  is  an  organizer,
        law enforcement and prosecutors  surge in gang-related activity and  has a supervisory position or any
        having to rely on a patchwork of  gun violence in New York. We  other  position  of  management.
        state regulations to crack down  also need a coordinated effort at  Individual may be sentenced to
        on criminal networks that makes  the Federal, State, and City level  an additional term of imprison-
        prosecutions difficult and con-  to stop the flow of guns into our  ment up to five consecutive years.
         Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik Celebrates Redesign                                      A Queens, New York, native  Administration, serves as a lo-
                 of Challenge Playground With Groundbreaking                                    was  promoted  in  rank  to  U.S.  gistics specialist (LS) at Training
                                                                                                Navy Petty Officer 1st Class at  Support Center Hampton Roads
                  Council Member Barry S.  provide  tremendous  benefit  to  Liu.  “It’s  great  for  health  and   an advancement ceremony held at  (TSCHR).
        Grodenchik celebrated the start  the communities of Little Neck  well-being, mental and physical.   NAS Oceana Dam Neck, July 14.       “In civilian terms an LS is a
        of new construction at Challenge  and  Douglaston,”  said  Council  The Challenge Playground has a        Petty Officer 1st Class Nico-  purchaser,” said Palmer. “I pur-
        Playground, surrounded by other  Member  Barry  S.  Grodenchik.  special place in our community’s   las Palmer, currently enrolled at  chase supplies for more than 30
        elected officials, Parks Department  “The improvements will create an  history, and it has taken a long time   University of Maryland Global  learning sites and centers within
        officials, and local civic leaders.  amazing outdoor space where local  to rebuild this important public   Campus  majoring  in  Business   the TSCHR area of responsibility.”
             The $3 million project, for which  residents, especially children, will  asset. Thanks to Council Member
        design began in 2018, was made  be able to connect, interact, and  Grodenchik,  Queens  Borough
        possible thanks to Council Mem-  thrive for years to come.”  President Richards, and the Parks
        ber Grodenchik and former Bor-       “We’re excited to break ground  Department for the strong partner-
        ough President Melinda R. Katz,  on renovations that will transform  ship to get this project started and
        who helped secure funding, with  Challenge Playground into a more  completed quickly.”
        continued support from Borough  inclusive and accessible greens-       “As a parent of three young
        President Donovan J. Richards  pace,” said Queens Parks Com-  children, I know firsthand how
        Jr. Other advocates and attendees  missioner Michael Dockett. “Upon  important  it  is  to  have  a  local
        of the groundbreaking included  its completion, Queens residents  playground where kids can social-
        Senator John C. Liu, Assembly  and visitors can enjoy enhanced  ize, exercise, and play throughout
        Member Edward C. Braunstein,  play and integral family-friendly  the year,” said Assembly Member
        several civic organizations, and the  space for recreation and outdoor  Edward C. Braunstein. “The reno-
        New York City Parks Department.  fun. We’re grateful to Borough  vations to Challenge Playground
             The Parks Department plans to  President Richards and Council  will be enjoyed by eastern Queens
        reconstruct the existing playground  Member Grodenchik for making  families for generations to come,
        with brand new sensory play equip-  this upgrade a priority.”  and I thank Council Member Gro-
        ment, swings, and spray show-       “This is a great day for the chil-  denchik and Borough President
        ers. The new design will feature  dren and families of Little Neck as  Richards for making this project
        auditory and visual elements that  we break ground on this first-class  a reality.”
        will offer playful shadow effects,  playground,” said Queens Borough       “Community Board 11 is so
        sounds, and touchable textures.  President Donovan J. Richards.  happy to see this long-standing
        Additional upgrades will include  “Children need to have high-qual-  capital reconstruction of Challenge
        new  seating  and  picnic  areas,  ity places to play in order for them  Playground come to fruition thanks
        plantings, and repaved pedestrian  to grow and thrive, and the recon-  to our partners at the Parks De-
        pathways for easier access to the  structed Challenge Playground will  partment, Council Member Gro-
        play area.                   be such a space. I thank Council  denchik, and Borough President
             The redesign is expected to be  Member Grodenchik and the de  Richards,” said Joseph Marziliano,
        complete in spring 2022.     Blasio administration for making  District Manager of Queens Com-
             “Playgrounds are critical to  today’s groundbreaking possible.”  munity Board 11. ”We look for-
        the  health  of  a  community,  so       “Children and families are  ward to this renovation becoming
        the redesign and reconstruction  spending  more  and  more  time  a quality-of-life upgrade in Little
        of  Challenge  Playground  will  outdoors,” said Senator John C.  Neck for years to come.”
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