New Yorkers can thank Congress and other state legislatures for much of the gun crime that occurs in the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Wednesday, citing new statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showing that 90 percent of traceable guns used in crimes in the city in 2011 came from out-of-state.
That figure is up from 85 percent in 2009.
"That means—in addition to our tough enforcement efforts inside the five boroughs—we have to pay attention to gun laws outside of the city," Bloomberg said. "The reality is: laws in states across the nation and in Washington, D.C. have a real impact on the safety of New Yorkers."
While touting the steadily dropping number of shootings and murders in the city—almost 30 percent fewer than last year's record low—as an indicator of the NYPD's success in keeping the city safe, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there's room for improvement to come from outside the state.
"We could do even better if Congress helped with meaningful gun control," Kelly said.
Last year, the greatest number of out-of-state guns used in city crimes came from Virginia and North Carolina, two states which the mayor's advisor John Feinblatt said not only don't have background checks for gun sales, but recently rolled back some of the gun control laws they did have in place: North Carolina now allows guns in bars and educational institutions, for example.
"Unfortunately, each of the states on this list and very weak and don't have any of the laws that we think make a difference," Feinblatt said.
Bloomberg noted that the top 10 point-of-origin states all have private sale loopholes in their gun control laws, which allow private dealers to skip background checks.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat