Senator Gillibrand, Eric Adams announce federal gun trafficking and crime prevention bill

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Sen. Gillibrand, Eric Adams target NYC gun violence with federal bill
Sonia Rincon has more on the escalating gun violence in New York City and the measures being taken by lawmakers to combat it.

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams came together to speak out against gun violence Monday, unveiling a bipartisan bill to address the illegal transfer of guns across state lines.

The measure aims to crackdown on gun trafficking rings, and they were joined by Jennifer Pryear, a Brooklyn mother who lost her daughter in a nightclub shooting in 2009.

Nyasia Pryear-Yard was just 17, an honor student, and was set to go to college the following fall.

The announcement of the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act, co-named after another gun violence victim from Chicago, came as New York City confronts another weekend of deadly shootings.

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There were 17 shootings with 20 victims and four fatalities, amid a 22% spike in shooting incidents over last year.

Another shooting in the Bronx wounded two people in the Williamsbridge section Monday night. Both are expected to be ok, but the gunman is on the loose.

In just a five hour span Sunday night, one person was killed and seven others wounded.

New and disturbing video shows a 16-year-old dodging a young armed man around a pillar on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens on Sunday.

He was unable to get away before the shooter fired and wounded the victim in the leg. Police are still looking for this suspect.

In nearby Springfield Gardens, police are looking for surveillance video that can help identify the gunmen who fired into a home, leaving a 52-year-old woman with a graze wound.

"This is a vicious cycle that must end," New York City councilmember Vanessa Gibson said.

Gibson, the Democratic nominee for Bronx borough president, was among those at an emotional anti-gun violence rally in the Bronx this Monday evening, including the parents of two young men shot in the Bronx this month.

She says the federal government needs to step up.

Gillibrand believes the Nyasia Pryear-Yard Gun Trafficking and Crime Prevention Act will help stop gun deaths in the city.

"This bill is needed now to stop gun deaths in our cities, because it is chronically too easy for a criminal to get a weapon," Gillibrand said. "And that is facilitated by gun dealers and gun traffickers."

Gillibrand and Adams both pushed for the new bill that would make it a federal crime for gun dealers to sell guns to people who can't purchase them legally.

"Right now a trafficker, the only thing he's done wrong is a paperwork violation," Gillibrand said. "That he didn't register, that he's bringing guns into another state, it's a misdemeanor."

Officials say 90% of guns used in city crime come from out of state, and in the last few months, it has become an epidemic.

"When you look at the shootings that you are seeing in this city and across the country, there is gangs," Adams said. "Gangs are driving the violence in this city."

Adams offered up a number of solutions. He supports Gillibrand's bill, he wants more cops on the beat, and he's angry that bail reform changes allow so many violent criminals to be released.

"Someone can't discharge a gun on Monday, get arrested, and then back out on the street on Tuesday," Adams said. "That's unacceptable."

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Another idea is bringing back the city's street crime unit, made up of undercover officers who focus on guns. Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded it because of controversy and violence, but Adams has said he would re-train and rename the troubled unit.

Curtis Sliwa, the Republican nominee for mayor, wants the unit back now with no changes.

"They're already properly trained, they are already active and ready and waiting to be reactivated," he said. "We don't have to wait months from now to all of a sudden create a new name and a new unit. The emergency is now."


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