The Nassau County Friends of the National Rifle Association (NRA) returned to The Inn at New Hyde Park for their annual dinner auction and fundraising event last week. However, protesters also returned this year to show their opposition.
“[The group] Together We Will Long Island, along with Long Islanders for Gun Safety, hosted this rally for two reasons,” said organizer Sharon Golden. “We wanted the Friends of the NRA to know that the NRA is against everything sensible gun reform stands for, such as extensive background checks and the banning of AR15s and, therefore, we stand in complete opposition to their stance. As far as doing it at The Inn at New Hyde Park, The Inn made a choice to support this organization by hosting their dinner and auction there, and they put the value on money rather than lives and this is unacceptable.”
The Nassau County Friends of the NRA, which is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for The NRA Foundation, auctioned off guns at the event. The net proceeds of the night’s fundraiser benefited shooting sports programs for local communities.
“Our great nation is plagued by an epidemic of gun violence and addressing it requires our full attention and action,” said State Senator Anna Kaplan, who joined the protesters outside The Inn. “I’m proud that New York has been a nationwide leader in the fight for common-sense gun safety legislation and I’m proud to be taking further action to protect our communities from the gun violence epidemic. The bill I introduced last week will close a dangerous loophole that gives people an end-run around our existing gun safety laws, and will keep countless untraceable weapons out of the hands of individuals who otherwise couldn’t legally obtain a firearm.”
Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso and State Senator Jim Gaughran, who recently introduced a bill to ban gun raffles, were also present at the protest. Gaughran’s legislation would prohibit firearms from being given as prizes in games of chance.
“You shouldn’t be able to simply walk into a catering venue and walk out owning a firearm,” said Gaughran. “This law will protect public safety and advance New York’s commitment to common sense gun reform. You can’t raffle off a bottle of wine, so why can you raffle off a weapon of war?”
According to the Nassau County Friends of the NRA, no ammunition is permitted at the event and all who won a firearm at the event will have to go through a federal firearm background check first before being issued one.