Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s passage of the nation’s toughest assault weapon and magazine restrictions, and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s announcement of a technology in development that will allow the NYPD to detect concealed firearms, Kelly has another announcement: Handguns are New York City’s real problem.
According to Kelly, only two percent of arrests for unlawful firearms involve assault weapons, while 60 percent of the murders in New York City are caused by handguns.
“We simply have too many of them,” Kelly said on Face the Nation. “Even thought last year we had a record low of murders in New York City, and a record low of shootings, it’s still way too many.”
Brooklyn Councilwoman Letitia James agrees.
“This is what I’ve been saying for a long time,” James asserted. “The ban [should] not only be limited to assault weapons, but we should expand it and include handguns.”
James also suggested holding gun manufacturers “liable for any inures or fatalities caused by their products.”
“We hold other manufacturers strictly responsible for their products, why not gun manufacturers?” she asked.
While the New York Civil Liberties Union has expressed concerns about possible civil rights violations resulting from the scanners the NYPD is developing, that would allow the police to detect concealed firearms from up to 16 feet away, James not only fully supports the devices, but says they’re something she suggested two years ago.
“In this particular regard, safety comes before privacy,” James said. “I know there are those who disagree with me, but this is where we part company.”
James is running for Public Advocate in the 2013 election.
Gun buyback on Saturday, February 2
Councilwoman James, in collaboration with Commissioner Kelly, will be holding a gun buyback at the Church of the Open Door at 201 Gold Street in Brooklyn, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday. Operable handguns can be exchanged for $200 bank cards, and operable rifles and shotguns can be exchanged for $20 bank cards.