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For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2024

NY-03 Debate: Pilip Toes the NRA line

Pressed Repeatedly, Pilip Won’t Support Life-Saving Assault Weapons Ban

Glen Cove, NY – Mazi Pilip admitted to toeing the NRA line in tonight’s only debate of the special election in New York’s Third Congressional District.

When challenged multiple times whether or not she would support a ban on assault weapons, Pilip offered no coherent response. In contrast, Suozzi highlighted his staunch support for an assault weapons ban and his “F” rating from the NRA.


QUESTION: “Guns are out of control in our country, and there are lots of laws to talk about, but specifically assault rifles. These weapons of war are scary for all of us, for all of our children, for all of us. Please let me know if you believe that the average person should be able to purchase an assault weapon.”

SUOZZI: “My opponent is relatively new to politics but she dodges on questions like she’s a seasoned pro. She’s been asked specifically whether or not she will ban assault weapon bans in the United States of America. She says, ‘I am opposed to automatic weapons.’ She said that over and over again in the few interviews she’s done. She’s opposed to automatic weapons. But automatic weapons have been banned in the United States of America since 1986. It’s semi-automatic weapons that are the problem. Semi-automatics. AR-15s have been used in all these shootings in schools and public places that have resulted in mass murders throughout the country. I have an F rating from the NRA. That’s the one F in my life that I’m proud of. And the reality is that I’ve sponsored every piece of major gun safety legislation in the Congress. I would like to know from Ms. Pilip when she answers this question: will she vote to ban semi-automatic weapons like AR-15s? It’s a very simple, straightforward question. Her Conservative Party … says we gotta keep it the way it is.”


PILIP: “… I’m gonna ban automatic assault weapons.”

MODERATOR: “Would you support a federal ban on assault rifles?”

PILIP: “I said I’m gonna ban automatic assault weapons.”

SUOZZI: “Automatics are already banned. It’s semi-automatics, like AR15s.”

PILIP: “Anything that’s more powerful than anything the cops use. I’m not gonna support that. They should not have that.”

SUOZZI: “The Conservative Party platform that she’s on wants to roll back the red flag laws. They want to roll back other trigger locks items and the gun show loopholes.”

Pilip’s previous anti-gun safety statements:

  • PIX11:
    • Interviewer: “Would you reach across the aisle and co-sponsor legislation that would bring back the assault weapons ban?”
    • Pilip: “Here’s the thing. As you know, the Second Amendment gives the right to the American people to own and bear arms. We can’t take that away.
  • Newsday:
    • “Pilip also did not directly answer whether she’d support a federal assault weapons ban, but said she was against civilians owning them.  ‘Law-abiding citizens should have a route to have access to guns, but not automatic assault weapons,’ she told Newsday.”
  • New York Daily News:
    • “It is not clear what Pilip’s position is on an assault weapons ban. Her platform does not make reference to it, and her campaign spokesman, Brian Devine, did not immediately reply when asked for her stance on Thursday.”


Tom Suozzi, trained as an attorney and CPA, is the former Congressman for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, Nassau County Executive, and Mayor of Glen Cove. Tom has committed his 30-year public service career to delivering for his constituents. His philosophy of working with anyone who shares his goal of solving problems and delivering for his constituents has guided his career and led to notable accomplishments on issues including protecting the environment, common-sense gun safety, full access to reproductive health care, immigration, caring for our veterans, affordable healthcare, and fiscal responsibility.

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