President Joe Biden plans to meet with Mayor Eric Adams in New York City next week to discuss the steady rise in gun violence across the five boroughs.
The visit comes after Adams had been pressing the federal government for help in battling gun violence, specifically since the fatal shooting of two NYPD officers last week.
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office confirmed the visit that’s slated for February 3rd and its subject matter. This marks the first time Biden will meet with Adams as mayor. The two met last July to discuss the very same topic, before the mayor took office.
“Public safety is my administration’s highest priority, and we welcome the opportunity to display to President Biden how federal and local governments can coordinate and support each other in this fight to keep New Yorkers safe,” Adams said in a statement.
Adams, a centrist Democrat, has been urging the federal government to provide more support in fighting the rising tide of gun violence in New York City. On Monday, he released a 15-page plan that outlined steps in reducing violent crime in the wake of the NYPD fatalities. The alleged perpetrator, Lashawn McNeil, was also killed.
The deaths came amid multiple violent episodes across New York City that have rattled New Yorkers. They include the fatal shooting of a Burger King employee in Manhattan during an armed robbery, the shooting of a baby grazed by a bullet, and a woman pushed to her death at the Times Square subway station.
In the plan, the Adams administration recommends Congress pass universal background checks for gun purchases, ban assault weapons, and pass laws that make gun trafficking a federal crime. Adams also seeks to strengthen working relationships between the NYPD, FBI, and ATF in stemming the “Iron Pipeline” gun route along the I-95. Adams’ plan also seeks more federal funds to hire police officers, expand mental health services, and catch up with the backlog of gun cases that require DNA analysis.
At an appearance Wednesday with Gov. Kathy Hochul, who’s expressed her support for the plan, Adams reiterated that the city has become “an ocean of violence."
“We have normalized the carrying of guns in our city, our state, and in some cases our country,” Adams said. “We have no longer made it taboo to do so.”
The rise in gun violence across the city is part of a national trend that experts say was driven by the pandemic. Biden has attempted to address gun violence across major cities through the Build Back Better Act, a social spending bill package where $5 billion has been set aside for cure violence programs. The bill, however, has stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Biden’s visit to New York City will mark his third since becoming president. He visited a Queens neighborhood ravaged by remnants of Hurricane Ida and the United Nations General Assembly. Both took place last September.