New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday defended his crime-fighting efforts as bolstering the state’s already strict gun laws.
“We have to stop the flow of guns. But we must also do the job of getting the guns off the streets that’s [out] there now,” he said. “And my anti-gun unit, they’re doing that. Just a few weeks out, they removed over 20-something guns off the street. But here’s the interesting number: 70% of those who were carrying the guns had prior violent offenses. So we need to combine with that small number of people who are carrying guns with the large number of guns on our street and get both off our street.”
According to Adams, it’s also important to stop criticism of “good, proper law enforcement with the proper proactive things to keep guns out of the hands of young people. That’s the combination that we’re going to do.”
The mayor, a former New York Police Department officer, decried the so-called ghost guns — and owners who who skate by strict gun laws.
“We have a small number of gun dealers that are just skating the law,” he lamented. “We are dealing with the problem with ghost guns. It’s imperative that we come up with clear messages around ghost guns and the kits that assemble them. And I believe Washington is going to do that. Then we need to put money into the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] so they can do the proper information-sharing, so we can identify the flow of guns in the inner cities.”
Adams said justice and safety aren’t aren’t mutually exclusive — and said his priority is to end a “state of disorder.”
“You can have the justice that we deserve with the safety we need,” he said. “Here’s what we talk about when we say quality of life: not allowing someone to go into a store, steal what they want, and then walk out, jumping the turnstiles, not paying your fare in the subway system.”
“We learned that during the mid-nineties and early nineties, but also looking at just open drug use, injecting yourself with heroin in our parks in front of our children, loud noise, just being disorderly,” he said. “Some of the things we’re doing around [homeless] encampments. You don’t have to use police to remove the encampments in our city like we’re doing. We’re doing a combination of social services, giving people the dignity they deserve. That is what we’re talking about, cleaning our streets and making sure that we don’t have a state of disorder.”
The mayor also said he’s not opposed to the public filming police doing their job — but they have to do it from a safe distance.
“Many days that I fought with the individuals who were carrying weapons or knives, and I’ve had people stand over me with a camera,” he said. “That is extremely dangerous because you don’t know what you have. So what we’re saying to New York is film. Eric Garner case: The young man filmed a safe distance away. He did not interrupt or interfere. That is how you film.”
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