Mayor Eric Adams has expressed support for two City Council bills he says will help stem gun violence in the city.
The first would require officials to study the flow of illicit firearms into the city and propose potential solutions. If approved, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and the NYPD would issue a report each December with information about the origin of each illegal firearm seized or surrendered over the course of the year.
The second sets the boundaries for the area commonly known as Times Square. The bustling tourist destination was deemed a “sensitive location” in legislation passed by state lawmakers this summer, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s strict firearm permit rules. That means most members of the general public are barred from carrying guns within its confines, even if they have a permit. Only a select group of permit holders, including law enforcement and active-duty military, can carry weapons in these “sensitive” zones.
“Illegal guns are feeding the river of violence,” he said, indicating that he plans to sign the bills, both of which were recently passed by the council. “We have to dam every river. And here in New York, we’re going to do just that: dam every river.”
The report that would be required through the first bill would include many pieces of information about the history of the gun, including:
- Where the gun came from
- Whether it was used in a crime
- Its manufacturer
- The dealer who sold it
- Whether it is a ghost gun or was created with a 3D printer
But the annual study wouldn’t only focus on individual firearms, but look for patterns to see how firearms are typically brought into the city. Officials would be tasked with making recommendations, as well, including:
- How to collaborate with different states and cities to prevent firearm trafficking
- How to create a shared electronic tracking system for firearm dealers
- Ways to limit access to guns for those who might use them to hurt themselves or others
- Programs to prevent young people from using firearms
- Ways to limit crime through environmental design, like adding street lamps
This bill could pose some legal challenges, given that federal law limits what information about firearms can be tracked and shared. But council members created a carveout, which allows the report to leave out any information that is “prohibited by law.”
“The safety and security of 8.8 million people is my primary responsibility, and working with City Council, we have continued to make it New York’s number one priority,” Adams said.