, WASHINGTON, Apr 3 – A US congresswoman said on Wednesday she received death threats this week for introducing a bill that would tighten the nation’s gun laws.
Representative Carolyn Maloney said she informed police that someone phoned her New York congressional office on Tuesday and threatened her over her pending legislation, which comes three months after a school massacre in neighbouring Connecticut.
“Yesterday, several death threats were phoned into my New York office in response to news reports about a bill I authored requiring gun owners to have insurance,” Maloney said in a statement.
“The calls were fielded by young interns, who were understandably shaken by this experience.”
The 11-term Democrat’s New York district office received three menacing phone calls which left her so disturbed that she missed a planned awards dinner Tuesday night, according to the New York Daily News.
“They said they were going to kill me,” she told the paper.
Maloney is a strong backer of President Barack Obama’s push for legislation to reduce gun violence, efforts which have been vehemently opposed by several Republican lawmakers and gun advocates like the National Rifle Association.
She said her bill would require gun owners to carry liability insurance, “just like car owners, to give innocent victims of gun violence some recourse if they are injured.
“100,000 Americans are injured by guns every year,” she added. “Carrying insurance is the responsible thing to do.”
Maloney said she was particularly disturbed by the threats, given the December shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 small children and six staffers dead, and an earlier theatre massacre in Aurora, Colorado, as well as the attack on then-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot to the head in her Arizona district in 2011.
“I take the threat of more gun violence very seriously,” Maloney said, “but it is not something that I will allow to stop me from doing my work.”