City officials use new data to urge stricter gun laws beyond New York.
Just a few weeks after a gunman killed 20 children in Newtown, Conn. last December, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed a gun control package through the state legislature that bolstered the state’s assault weapons ban.
Mayor Bloomberg – aside from being the co-chair of the nationwide coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns – has made getting guns off city streets a significant leg of his 12-year administration.
And so it is perhaps not surprising that city data from 2011 shows 90 percent of guns involved in New York City crimes traveled from another state. As the overall number of guns recovered in the city continues to decline, the number of out-of-state guns found in the five boroughs is on the rise, the mayor said Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg used a freshly printed set of data figures to solidify a longstanding argument of his: other states, as well as the federal government, need to enact stricter gun laws.
“Every year, there are still thousands of guns that are transported across stateliness to our city that then kill and maim New Yorkers,” Bloomberg said. “That demonstrates in no uncertain terms how weak gun laws at the federal and state level have a direct danger and direct impact on the safety of people in our city.”
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that so far this year a total of 2,511 guns have been recovered in New York City. But said, ultimately, a strong local law enforcement is not enough to keep people safe from guns.
“We can’t build a wall around New York City to keep guns out of New York, but Congress can certainly construct sensible gun laws to strip away the incentive to buy guns,” Kelly said.
Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina are responsible for supplying the most out-of-state guns to New York City, according to city data that was released.
To the states who would like Bloomberg to mind his own city, he jabs: “We’d love to, just as soon as you stop letting guns seep into the black market and land in the hand of criminals and be used to murder our citizens.”