New York has some of the toughest gun control measures in the nation, but leaders in New York City have blamed the recent increase in shootings on lack of gun control measures.
“We are in the middle of a crisis with guns,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after an NYPD officer was shot dead and another seriously injured Friday night. Mayor Eric Adams called on Congress to take “immediate action” on guns Monday during a speech on how his administration will crack down on violence.
Adams and his administration took office just over three weeks ago on Jan. 1, and in that time, shootings in the city have increased by 16% when compared to the same time period last year. One rookie NYPD officer was shot dead this month with an illegal gun, four others officers were left injured by shootings, while other New Yorkers including an 11-month-old girl in the Bronx, have been shot.
But while the Democratic leaders in the city say lack of gun control is to blame for the increase in shootings, other experts say that is not the case.
“We have a crisis of family breakdown and a crisis of law enforcement, not a crisis of guns. The per capita rate of gun possession in New York is much lower than in many other parts of the country that have zero drive-by shootings,” the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald told Fox News Digital on Monday.
‘We have a crisis of family breakdown and a crisis of law enforcement, not a crisis of guns,’ the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald said
New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, including requiring residents to obtain a special license from authorities to possess a gun outside of their home and proving “proper cause” for needing to do so. It also typically takes a minimum of four months from the time of application to receive or be denied a gun license in the state. In New York City specifically, residents must be granted a city handgun license to own a handgun and a city-issued permit to own a shotgun or rifle.
“As Bernie Sanders once pointed out, many households in Vermont possess weapons; Vermont does not have a drive-by shooting problem,” Mac Donald said. “Switzerland and Israel also have high rates of gun possession without violent street crime. The criminals who are shooting up innocent civilians and other criminals alike in New York have not been socialized by their parents; they have no regard for human life and no ability to restrain their impulses.”
A spokesperson for DA Bragg’s office told Fox News Digital that spikes in violence have affected areas across the country amid the pandemic.
“Amidst this incalculable flood of trauma and loss from the Covid-19 pandemic, violence has spiked across the country. Gun violence in particular spanned red and blue cities, states with criminal justice reforms laws and those without, jurisdictions with progressive prosecutors and those old-school conservative DAs,” the spokesperson said Monday.
‘Violence has spiked across the country,’ a spokesperson for DA Bragg’s office said
Mac Donald called out Bragg specifically, saying he and other progressive prosecutors have opened the floodgates for criminals to disregard the authority of law enforcement officials due to weak-on-crime policies.
“Law enforcement has been demonized and demoralized by the Democratic falsehood about endemic police racism. Alvin Bragg, like progressive prosecutors across the country, has announced that the crime of resisting arrest will no longer be prosecuted, thus sending the message that the lawful authority of the police (and the police themselves) deserve no respect. Other laws are not being enforced, sending the same message. The criminals have heard that message loud and clear and now believe, not without justification, that they can prey on the innocent without consequences.”
Bragg’s spokesperson pushed back that Mac Donald “has DA Bragg’s position wrong” regarding people who resist arrest, saying Bragg explained that “resisting arrest would have to be tied to an actual arrest, not prosecuted as a stand-alone offense.” The spokesperson pointed to Bragg’s quote this month that, “Violence against police officers will not be tolerated. If you push or hit an officer, or attempt to do so or seek to do harm in any other way, you will be prosecuted.”
Heather Mac Donald ‘has DA Bragg’s position wrong’ regarding people who resist arrest, a spokesperson for DA Bragg’s office said
The mayor campaigned on a tough on crime platform, and unveiled a plan to combat violence in the city on Monday, which included calling on state and federal leaders to pass more strict gun control.
“We must pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales. We must pass legislation to make gun trafficking a federal crime. We must increase penalties for those directly involved in moving guns across state lines, and the organizers of gun trafficking rings. We must increase penalties for those making straw purchases, or buying firearms from someone legally prohibited from doing so. And we must also mobilize the DOJ against the proliferation of ghost guns,” Adams said in his address.
Among the initiatives in the plan, Adams will bring back the NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit after it was dismantled under de Blasio’s administration amid the defund the police movement and complaints of it using excessive force and racial profiling. Anti-violence teams of police will also be deployed to 30 precincts where 80% of violence has occurred and an expansion of the Gun Violence Suppression Division.
“Rise up to protect each other. Rise up to defeat gun violence. Rise up to defend the way of peace and the work of prosperity. This is our moment, New York,” Adams said Monday.