Sweating bullets: NRA photo threatening Brooklyn pols ignites firestorm • Brooklyn Paper

Sweating bullets: NRA photo threatening Brooklyn pols ignites firestorm

Too on-target: Critics say this photo the National Rifle Association published is a threat against Brooklyn pols Roxanne Persaud, left, and Jo Anne Simon.
America’s 1st Freedom

Talk about a powder-keg situation.

The National Rifle Association took aim at two Brooklyn politicians on Jan. 4 — responding to the pols’ calls to limit bulk ammunition sales by posting photos implying violence against them. The picture, which accompanies a screed from association-backed America’s First Freedom magazine editor Mark Chesnut, depicts Polaroid photos of State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D–Canarsie) and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D–Boerum Hill) surrounded by bullets. The rifle association lowered itself to base bullying to try to get its message across, Persaud said.

“They are using intimidation and fear in the same manner that mass shooters are using guns and ammunition to create an atmosphere of fear,” she said.

Mayor DeBlasio and a slew of Brooklyn politicians and activists decried the National Rifle Association following the posting.

Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Canarsie) tweeted “The absurdity is insane,” and Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) called the tactic “beyond outrageous.”

Persaud and Simon announced draft legislation last month to limit the number of bullets a person can purchase over a 90-day period to two magazines per gun owned.

Chesnut claimed the pols don’t know enough about gun ownership to legislate it, but Simon called the writer clueless.

“First of all, he doesn’t know anything about what we know,” she said.

The proposal doesn’t aim to limit constitutional rights, rather it is meant to protect constituents from increasing gun violence, Persaud said.

“In portions of the district that I represent, there is senseless killing, and overall, gun violence is on the rise,” she said.

Indeed, police tallied 65 shootings in East New York’s 75th Precinct, which Persaud partially represents, out of a total 1,130 shootings citywide in 2015 — more than any other Brooklyn command, law enforcement data shows.

The law would also bar people from buying ammunition for weapons they are not legally allowed to possess.

Earlier this year, police busted a Canarsie man they say smuggled more than 100 high-powered guns into Kings County over the course of a year.

Both pols have received e-mail threats since announcing the proposal, Simon said.

The National Rifle Association did not respond to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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