President Donald Trump told the National Rifle Association’s convention last month that “I am going to come through for you”—but rumors have flown he is considering replacing ex-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey with former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who has endorsed a number of restrictions on firearm ownership.
The president unceremoniously sacked Comey Monday evening, ostensibly for his handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server at the State Department, but amid a welter of investigations into whether the Trump campaign in any way collaborated with Russian agents in the damaging leaks that sandbagged the former First Lady’s campaign. A number of outlets have identified Kelly as one of the top contenders for the job, along with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke and South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy.
But in his book Vigilance, released in late 2015, Kelly called for reviving the 1990s ban on assault weapons—a measure Trump opposed as a candidate, and which the NRA has battled to stop—in order to prevent terrorists like Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen from obtaining them.
“Mateen had no trouble arming himself with a weapon of war. There is no logical reason for civilians to have that much firepower. I am all for an assault weapons ban,” Kelly wrote. “Given the world we live in, we have to expect more of these lone-wolf or wolf pack attacks. But an assault weapons ban will help reduce the body count.”
Kelly was less outspoken on firearms issues during his 2002 to 2014 tenure at the NYPD than his boss at the time, ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who championed gun control measures nationwide. But in 2012, after the shooting of a five-year-old girl in the Bronx, Kelly ripped then-President Barack Obama for not taking a more aggressive stance on the issue.
Read more at observer.com
Featured photo Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly lifts an illegal gun purchased in South Carolina and smuggled into New York. Courtesy of Mario Tama/Getty Images