Gillibrand (D-N.Y.): I keep 2 guns under my bed,"She won't last long in N.Y. !"
UPDATE: Gillibrand removes guns from bed citing security reasons
"She moved them to between the mattress and box spring !"
Gillibrand said neither she nor her husband is a hunter, and in a general discussion of gun control said, "If I want to protect my family, if I want to have a weapon in the home, that should be my right."The mother of two young children has taken "gun safety procedures to ensure family safety," an aide later said, but declined to say what steps.Gillibrand's guns are rifles, her chief of staff Jess Fassler said in an e-mail, and she won one of them in a raffle at a county fair while campaigning. He said New York does not require anyone to register rifles.
The disclosure came in an interview with Newsday a week before her first trip as a senator to Long Island, where gun-control activist Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) has threatened a primary challenge to Gillibrand in the 2010 election.It drew headshaking from Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, who expressed concern about storing guns under beds, where children can find them and where burglars typically look first.
And it demonstrates the difficulty Gillibrand is encountering as she tries to recalibrate her public persona and political views in moving from upstate congresswoman to New York's junior U.S. senator.
An expanding agenda
Criticized by downstate gun-control and immigration-rights activists after being appointed three weeks ago, Gillibrand has been shifting some views and softening some stands as she travels across the state.In an interview in the Senate dining room Thursday, Gillibrand and two aides argued she has a broad agenda that is only getting broader as she expands her representation from one district to the entire state.
Gillibrand said it includes the economy, education, health care reform, middle-class tax cuts, veterans' care, agriculture and, as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, even oversight of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton - whose Senate seat she holds.In the hour-and-a-half interview, Gillibrand, 42, a former Manhattan securities attorney, displayed a no-nonsense approach to her new job, giving lengthy answers reflecting mainstream Democratic positions.