NYC mayoral candidates agree on proposed gun trafficking law

New York Elections

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After another violent weekend, shootings continued to be the dominant issue in the race to become the next mayor of New York City on Monday.

Democratic nominee Eric Adams and Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa held dueling news conferences at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Adams appeared with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). She promoted a piece of legislation to combat gun trafficking that both candidates agree with.

“We know almost 90% of guns used in crimes in New York are [trafficked] from out of state,” Gillibrand said.

Standing alongside Adams, Gillibrand announced she would once again push for a law that would make it a federal crime to traffic guns across state lines. The legislation narrowly failed in the Senate, getting 58 of 60 votes needed, after the Sandy Hook school massacre.

“A major driver of our shooting crisis is the over proliferation of illegal handguns,” Adams said. “We know they’re here and we must zero in on them so we know to address this problem.”

Waiting in the wings to also address gun violence was Sliwa, who unlike most Republicans, supports the gun trafficking legislation.

“We definitely need more of that, but because we’re in Brooklyn, we really need to focus on the local aspect of the shooting and not necessarily what the federal government can do,” Sliwa said.

Sliwa pointed to the violent weekend, including seven wounded and one killed overnight Sunday into Monday. He suggested a special prosecutor in the city to handle all gun cases, bringing back the plainclothes NYPD anti-crime unit, and tougher bail and sentencing requirements for gun crimes.

Adams has said he would use plainclothes officers again, but was dismissive of stiffer penalties.

“When you’re dealing with desperate people, they don’t read the penal law to decide if they’re going to shoot an innocent person,” Adams said.

As for the prospects of getting her gun trafficking bill passed, Gillibrand said she is hopeful. She pointed to a weakened NRA, and the belief that the legislation will get an individual vote rather than being tied into more comprehensive but controversial legislation.

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