April 4, 2023
by Carly Newton
PLATTSBURGH — In Stefanik’s visit Monday, she also addressed a number of local issues, including the swatting incidents that occurred at several North Country schools last week.
Those swatting calls, in particular, had falsely reported a possible active shooter at many local schools, including Plattsburgh High School last Thursday.
“To have individuals try to take advantage of this really uncertain time,” Stefanik said Monday, “it is horrible and any type of resources that are needed by law enforcement to track down who those callers are, we fully support that to make sure they’re prosecuted fully.”
The uncertain time Stefanik was referring to was the recent Nashville shooting at a Christian School, which left three children and three adults dead.
Stefanik was asked if the House Republican Majority would move to restrict access to weapons, like the AR-15 that was used in the shooting, at which she said “I have made my position very, very clear.”
“First of all, I think it’s important to note that all of America mourns for the horrific loss, and as a mom, in particular of a young child, I just grieve for those families, for those parents,” she continued.
“I think we need to make sure that we get all the facts and all the investigation and I urge the media to do the same as well.”
The congresswoman then said she believes school resource officers, as well as addressing the mental health crisis in the country, would be a better solution to improving school safety.
“One of the ways that I think we can improve school safety is school resource officers. and in this case (Nashville), this school did not have a school resource officer and we need to make sure that we’re providing financial support and we do that through grant programs. That’s something that the House Republicans have led on. I also think that we clearly need to do more for the significant mental health crisis that we are facing in this country,” Stefanik said.
“The knee-jerk response to ban guns is unacceptable and it’s overly political. Let’s get all the facts first, and let’s work to solve this.”
Stefanik defended her position by saying Congress has taken action to address gun-related issues in the past.
“And I think it’s important to note, that if you look back in the last Republican majority, we passed Fix NICS, which was the most significant update to information sharing in the background check system. That was Republican-led and a Republican majority, signed into law by a Republican president.”
“So those are my positions, and, you know, we grieve for those families.”
With recent news of Saratoga County Republican Jill A. Lochner announcing her decision to run for Stefanik’s seat, the congresswoman was also asked Monday to share her thoughts on potentially facing a primary challenger in the next election for the first time.
Stefanik, though, was quick to dismiss any challenger.
“Every couple of years the press loves to talk about it — I’ve never faced a primary opponent,” she said.
“The ballot qualification process is challenging. It is a challenging district to get around. I feel very confident of the support of not only the primary voters but also the general election voters. This is not the first time I’ve been asked that about candidates that have not ended up on the ballot.”
See the full article from the Press-Republican here.