Over the weekend, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his pro-gun control organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, received two letters that tested positive for ricin, New York deputy police commissioner Paul Browne confirmed on Wednesday.
Officials said that the letters — one addressed to Mayor Bloomberg and the other addressed to Mark Glaze, director of MAIG – contained threats and specifically referenced the gun control debate.
“You’re not going to take my guns. You’ll have to kill me before you take my guns. If you take my guns, you should see what I’m going to do to you,” the author of the letters said, according to the New York Post.
The letter went on to state the individual had a “constitutional and God given right and I will exercise that right til I die,” law-enforcement sources told the NY Post.
Both letters were computer typed and contained identical wording. They were also both postmarked May 20, in Shreveport, Louisiana, the American Postal Workers reported on its website.
The letter addressed to Bloomberg at City Hall was opened last Friday by a mailroom employee who noticed a “pink-orange oily substance,” in the letter, said deputy commissioner Browne.
As for the letter addressed to Mark Gaze in Washington, he opened it on Sunday.
No one was seriously injured as a result of being exposed to the ricin, a poison that is so toxic that a dose the size of a few grains of table salt can kill an adult human.
Though, at least three Emergency Service Unit cops who responded to the call suffered minor ricin-related symptoms, such as diarrhea and “strong smell to their urine,” a law-enforcement source told the New York Times.
When asked about the incident Wednesday night, Bloomberg said that he did not feel threatened by it nor did he plan on giving up his fight to reform the nation’s gun laws.
“There’s 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we’re not going to walk away from those efforts,” said Bloomberg.
“And I know I speak for all of the close to 1,000 mayors,” in Mayors Against Illegal Guns, he added. “This is a scourge on the country that we just have to make sure that we get under control and eliminate.”
Bloomberg was also asked if he was angry about the threat and the ricin-laced letters.
“No, I’m not angry. There are people who I would argue do things that may be irrational, do things that are wrong, but it is a very complex world out there and we just have to deal with that.”
UPDATE: Bloomberg and Glaze may not be the only high-profile gun control advocates to receive ricin letters this week. The Associated Press has reported that on Thursday, today, the Secret Service intercepted a letter addressed to President Obama that may also contain ricin.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is now investigating the matter. It’s unclear at this point as to whether the Obama letter is connected to the MAIG and Bloomberg letters.