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Gun Offenders Could face "Public Shaming"

by Jeff Coltin
A A
Ruben Diaz, Jr.

Ruben Diaz, Jr., flickr

NY City Council bill intoduced to make a public sex offender registry, much like sex offender registry.

Breaking a gun law New York City could get you on a public registry, just like sex offenses. 
 
A bill was introduced in City Council today to do just that. It's been referred to the Public Safety Committee for further discussion.
 
The gun-offender registry already exists for police to see who's been involved in shootings or owned illegal guns. But City Councilmember Ritchie Torres wants to make it available to all.
 
"The public has a right to know the whereabouts of gun offenders in their neighborhoods for the same reason that we have the right to know the whereabouts of sex offenders," he said. "These are two categories of crime that have high rates of recividism. They can strike terror in a neighborhood." 
 
Torres says offenders could get off the registry after four years of good behavior.
 
The bill is being sponsored by Torres and Andrew Cohen of the Bronx and Councilmembers Costa Constantinides and Paul Vallone of Queens.  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. encouraged the bill after the bill failed to pass last year.
 
Diaz said there is an aspect of public shaming involved.
 
"For those individuals who say this will provide a stigmatization or it's a form of double-jeopardy, my response to that is look, we're not apologetic," the BP said. 
 
"If you committed an act of gun violence, if you shot somebody, and you don't want to be put in the public spotlight, if this is going to embarass you too much then you know what, just stay away from guns. Don't do the crime."
 
The NRA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When the bill was proposed last year, a spokeman for the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association called it "absurd."

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