WHITE PLAINS - In the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, the nation's rhetoric has been loud but legislative action has been limited.
That's a problem that Nita Lowey says must change - now.
The congresswoman from Harrison on Friday morning publicly implored her colleagues to take action on gun control, five days after a gunman fatally shot 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
"Our thoughts and prayers are no longer enough," Lowey, a Democrat, said outside the White Plains Public Safety Department. "We're tired of these moments of silence. It is time to act."
Lowey was joined by local officials and community leaders as she called for Congress to pass three policies: a ban on military-style assault weapons, a ban on suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns without notification to authorities, and universal background checks.
Lowey said she has offered the "no fly, no buy" provision five times in the House Appropriations Committee, but that it has been rejected each time.
Asked why there has been such staunch opposition, she said the National Rifle Association's influence was partly to blame, but that ultimately "there is no good answer" for why Congress hasn't made changes.
Many Lower Hudson Valley residents have spent the week mourning the tragedy, particularly in Rockland County. One of the victims, 33-year-old Shane Tomlinson, grew up in Ramapo.
Brooke Malloy, incoming director of the Rockland County Pride Center, said the local LGBT community was grieving and advocating for reform.
"We need comprehensive action now," she said.
The lack of a "no fly, no buy" policy, in particular, "is outrageous," Lowey said. "It's all too easy for firearms to fall into the wrong hands."
Also voicing their support for Lowey's gun control efforts were White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Regional Coordinator Alexandra Dubroff, and Scott Havelka, director of programs and services at The Loft LGBT Community Center in White Plains.
Dubroff said when she heard about the Orlando massacre, "I was physically ill, but sadly, still not shocked."