Nassau County Exec Bruce Blakeman to Send 460 Donated Firearms to Ukraine; Florida Company to Ship Them
Edited by: Fern Sidman
As wage rages on unabated in Ukraine and Russia continues killing civilians in aerial bombardments of cities in Ukraine, here in the New York City area, one intrepid elected official has stepped up the proverbial plate to much needed aid those fighting for their survival in the beleaguered nation.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman announced the first shipment of donated firearms to Ukraine from the United States on Friday, according to a WABC Eyewitness News report.
Blakeman was joined by Jerry Sperduto, the owner of S.P. Firearms, and Ukrainian Americans to announce the shipment of over 460 guns, the report indicated.
The guns were donated as part of County Executive Blakeman’s drive for Ukraine. His great-grandparents came to the U.S. from Ukraine.
Back on March 9th, the New York Post reported that Blakeman has said that every bit of weaponry matters to help Ukrainians as he urged President Biden in a letter to help cut through the federal red tape in having the guns shipped to Ukraine.
“The people of Nassau County have done their part,” Blakeman said in a letter sent last week to the president.
Blakeman added: “We are now asking for your assistance to secure immediate federal approval to ship the weapons to the Ukrainian Government. These weapons were collected from ordinary citizens who have watched the heart-wrenching scenes of Ukrainian soldiers and citizens bravely defend their country. Time is of the essence… We stand ready to take the necessary steps to immediately get these weapons to the people who need them most.”
On Friday, in front of the Franklin Square gun shop, WABC News reported that Blakeman said: “I would like other mayors, county executives, supervisors, governors to join our effort now that we know there’s a way to do it. We could get tens of thousands of weapons over there, maybe hundreds of thousands of weapons.”
“After it started and it went a little viral, we got a lot of emails and calls from gun shops all over the country, how do we do this in our community? And I said, honestly I don’t know, this just happened, we did it quick, we’re doing it and we’re going to see if it’s going to work,” Sperduto said, as was reported by WABC Eyewitness News.
Blakeman also announced on Friday a partnership with Kel-Tec Weapons in Florida. Nassau County is shipping 60 rifles on Friday to Kel-Tec. The company is getting special licenses from the Ukraine Ministries of Defense to ship weapons there.
In a statement sent to the media, Kel-Tec Weapons executive Adrian Kellegren said: “We at Kel-Tec would like to thank Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Jerry at SP Firearms for helping to donate rifles to the people under siege in Ukraine.
We have a long business relationship in Ukraine and have lost contact with a good customer whose business was destroyed as a result of the war. Our company is in the process of opening a path to be able to donate close to 460 rifles to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. 60 from Nassau’s donation drive, 400 that were part of our customer’s last order. We are happy to announce we were granted an expedited export license to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
We would like to thank the fine people of the Department of Commerce, Department of State, and the Department of Defense for their rapid response. The goal is to build a path for American gun stores, distributors, and manufacturers to be able to properly export donated rifles to the Ukrainian people. Transport logistics is an ever-changing complication in war and dozens of people are working around the clock to see this through. This process is in early development, and we will release updates through our industry partners as needed.”
The donated firearms are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the next few weeks, according to the ABC News report. Blakeman hopes they can ship ammunition as well in the future.