NYC illegal guns: Where are they coming from, what can be done?

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Monday, January 24, 2022
7 On Your Side Investigates traces where illegal guns are bought
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7 On Your Side Investigates traces where illegal guns in NYC are coming from and what can be done to stop them from getting into the hands of killers.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Amid an alarming spike in gun violence in New York City, 7 On Your Side Investigates where the guns are coming from and what can be done to stop them from getting into the hands of killers.

The gun used to kill officer Jason Rivera and critically injure officer Wilbert Mora Friday night in Harlem was a Glock with a high capacity magazine. It was reported stolen in Maryland five years ago.

"We don't make guns here," Mayor Eric Adams said. "How are we removing thousands of guns off the street and they're still finding their way into New York City."

7 On Your Side Investigates found a majority of the guns used to commit crimes in New York over the past five years have come from other states, especially the south.

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Most of them are states with less restrictive gun laws like Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina.

"It's the iron pipeline," said Darrin Porcher, a former NYPD lieutenant and criminal justice expert. "We want to marry into a relation with the ATF and have police officers with the NYPD work in these investigative task forces with the ATF to ensure that illegal gun dealers in places like South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida are not selling guns to the wrong people."

He said local police can't travel out of state to get guns, they need the feds to do that.

Mayor Eric Adams told Eyewitness News he has discussed the issue with President Joe Biden.

"We need to close those loopholes and we have not and that's the help we need from the federal government," Mayor Adams said.

We found gun arrests have gone up by a lot in New York City since 2018, by 52%.

But at the same time, fewer people have been charged with felony and misdemeanor gun crimes.

"Of course you're going to have less charges against individuals that are in possession of firearms, I don't think there should be an eradication of stop and frisk, I just think it should be used as a poignant tool, it needs to be more specific," Porcher said.

The mayor announced on Monday his blueprint to cut down on crime.

It includes pushing for spot checks at tunnels, bus and train terminals for illegal weapons. In addition to allowing prosecutors to move faster to press gun charges, and to raise the penalties for gun trafficking.


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