Target Gun Trafficking

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While the city continues to debate the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk campaign, it is becoming clear that leaders must develop more effective and less offensive ways of getting guns off the street.

Stop-and-frisk has had success. Hundreds of illegal guns have been confiscated and the people carrying these guns face prison sentences. But the number of gun users caught with a weapon represents a small percentage of those searched by the police.

The commissioner argues this is the most effective way to counter gun violence.

There are better ways. City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer introduced five resolutions calling for stricter gun control in response to two recent shootings in the Queensbridge Houses.

At a rally demanding an end to the gun-related violence, Van Bramer introduced Amy, a 15-year-old girl who lives in Queensbridge. She was hit in the left hand by a stray bullet that came through her window while she was doing homework.

The councilman called on the state Legislature to:

1. require a 10-day waiting period for all firearm purchases

2. limit gun purchases to one per month

3. require gun purchasers to take a safety course

4. restrict ammunition sales from being sold at establishments that do not sell firearms

5. require background checks for all firearm purchases

But gang members and other criminals are not getting their guns from legitimate sources. There is a black market bringing guns into New York City. There needs to be greater interstate cooperation to stop the gun trafficking. Pressure must be put on gun manufacturers to make it more difficult for the traffickers to get their hands on guns.

A legislator in Staten Island has called for a mandatory 25-year sentence for anyone who uses a gun in a violent crime. The assumption is that gang members will be more afraid of a 25-year sentence instead of a 10-year term.

Sadly, the gang members shooting at each other aren’t thinking about tomorrow any more than they think of the innocent child who might get hit by a stray bullet.

Stop-and-frisk and the councilman’s five proposals may help, but the long-term solution lies in shutting down the traffickers. The manufacturers and their friends at the NRA need to help in this effort.

Posted 12:57 am, October 18, 2012
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Reader feedback

Raconteur from USA says:
I find it typical that not one proposal by the councilman would affect criminals. All of the proposals only control law abiding citizens, the very ones that DO NOT REQUIRE CONTROL!!!
Oct. 22, 2012, 10:34 am
Frank from Suffolk Co. says:
You politicians need to uphold the law and to impose harsher sentences on law-breaker. Leave the law abiding gun owners alone and do your job for a change........!!!!
Oct. 22, 2012, 3:14 pm
Nunya from America says:
What is gun related violence? Guns are tools, plain and simple. The actual terms you should be using are gang related and drug related violence? People control, oops, I mean gun control laws will do nothing to stop the violence. The use of guns in these crimes are symptoms, not the problem. Ask any doctor and they will tell you that you have to treat the root cause, not the symptoms, doesn't it make sense to apply the same logic to violence?
Oct. 22, 2012, 8:18 pm
CC from WYO says:
Castrate criminals convicted of using firearms to commit violent crimes. That would serve as a deterrent - not so much to a first offence as a second.
Oct. 23, 2012, 8:19 am
Paul from Patchogue says:
The Second Amendment of the US Consitution states the right to keep and bear arms shall not be INFRINGED.

Those of you that don't have any regard for the Constitution constantly go after that which is protected by it.

Ask yourself, Why are guns being used illegally in New York? Guns are used illegally to support the crime elements within this state. Don't go after the guns - go after the criminals. Focus on the crinminals. Lock them away for a VERY long time or maybe even forever. But stop infringing on the rights of law abiding American citizens.
Oct. 23, 2012, 8:47 am
Joe Doakes from Used to be Manhattan says:
Name me one law that criminals follow . . .
Oct. 23, 2012, 10:24 am
Joe Doakes from Used to be Manhattan says:
New York State Government
Albany, NY

June 4, 2008 (revised 5/26/11)

Dear President Obama;

Every year some new idea about how to make our streets safer via “Gun Control” arrives in New York. We’ve registered our guns. Violent crime continues. We’ve banned assault weapons. Violent crime continues. We ballistically identify our legally possessed pistols. Violent crime continues. There are 200 to 300 million firearms in this country - they are woven into the fabric of our society. For all the “wiz bang” technology that modern society has invented - rifles and pistols are still the foundation of our national and state defense. Thousands of times an hour they are used to dissuade another from pursuing an ill advised path; whether in the hand of a police officer or a private citizen. Yes - accidents and tragedies happen, and a mature society must look itself in the mirror and draw the proper conclusions from these horrible events, but to think that by passing law upon law the public at large will somehow be magically made safer via “gun control” is psychotic and dangerous.

I and many of you witnessed the attacks on September 11, 2001. Had those pilots - many of whom were ex military officers - been required to carry a side arm; that day would have ended much differently. Imagine all the lives and treasure that could have been saved but for an irrational fear of the law abiding gun owner. Can any of you honestly say that over the past few decades your collective efforts have made New Yorkers safer? If any of you answered yes then you must take a close look at the FBI statistics on violent crime - you’ll find disappointment waiting for you. No law can urge the lawless to ask permission from anyone for anything. Remember ladies and gentleman criminals, terrorists, and sub human miscreants are dumb, but they are not stupid.

The latest iteration of this policy is the idea that putting a serial number on a bullet casing as it ejects from a semi-automatic pistol will allow law enforcement to detect and thus incarcerate more criminals - this is also referred to as micro-stamping. So let us pretend that all of you are now criminals - how would you alter your behavior to avoid detection? Police your brass. Use a sawed off shotgun. Use a revolver. Gasoline and a match are very effective. Explosives work exceedingly well in motor vehicles. Poison - women seem to prefer this method - Spitzer should hire a food tester. There are very effective ways of killing people that never include a semi-automatic pistol. Not to mention the most obvious trick - remove the firing pin and file off the serializing mechanism. What about something even more devious - picking up used serialized brass at a firing range and place it at the scene of the future crime to throw off the police. Serializing casings of pistol cartridges not only will not work, but it will create more permutations of that section of the population of New York State that are hell bent on killing for profit or psychosis.

New York State currently operates a system that ostensibly should be doing what micro-stamping or serializing a cartridge would do. That system is called “The New York State Combined Ballistic Identification System,” or COBIS. To date COBIS has cost the taxpayers of New York $30,000,000 and has produced only two matches in its database. It costs $4,000,000 per year to operate. We are not the only State to have attempted such foolishness - Maryland has attempted it also. The only difference is Maryland abandoned it because firearms possessed by law abiding citizens are use to commit crimes in infinitesimally rare circumstances. I could fill five pages with all I know of ballistic identification and it’s pros and cons - I sincerely suggest all of you educate yourselves and rethink New York's current approach - last I checked New York was running a $5,000,000,000 deficit saving a few million here or there might start adding up to real money.

Many proven methods work to prevent crime, a solid basic education in how to behave in civil society, economic growth, engaged and active parents, etc. But the most effective methods that exist for reducing crime is self defense and long term humane incarceration for those who cannot coexist peacefully with their fellow citizens. New York State concealed carry law is a mess - some counties provide permits to law abiding citizens with out much hassle while others, “you have to know somebody.” Fix this and you’ll have a safer society. Don’t get me wrong - have stringent rules and requirements that are not capricious for the officials as well as the applicants, but stop deluding yourselves in thinking that permit holders and firearms are in and of themselves the enemy - the opposite is true - concealed carry holders are the most productive and law abiding segment of society. Florida maintains excellent statistics on this point - less then one hundredth of one percent of all permit holders has ever committed any crime in its entire thirty year history of concealed carry! Before Elliot Sptitzers behavior was detected he let 200 murderers out of prison. These people did not steal a loaf of bread to feed their children - THEY KILLED AND RAPED PEOPLE. Fix this and you’ll have a safer society. Bring back the death penalty for criminals that take an officers life.

Please stop attacking me and my fellow firearms owners we neither deserve your ire or your ad hominem attacks. Focus your efforts on what works and not what will get any of you reelected, stop using firearms as a means to win votes in an effort to demonstrate to your misguided constituents that you can save them from violent crime if only they surrender more of their forgotten liberty, when the opposite is true - even they at some point will recognize your hypocrisy for what it is.


Joe Doakes
Oct. 23, 2012, 10:25 am
Bob from Bohemia says:
Time and time again we see politicians who cannot or will not pass laws that target THE CRIMINAL like with harsher sentences that stoop to punishing the law abiding citizens who are protected under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution which says our right to bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Go after the criminals!
Oct. 23, 2012, 1:11 pm
Walker from USA says:
Which of the councilman's 5 resolutions will stop the use of "illegal" guns by criminals? Go ahead, convince me.
Oct. 23, 2012, 1:28 pm
Walker from USA says:

"Pressure must be put on gun manufacturers to make it more difficult for the traffickers to get their hands on guns."
What? Can't wait for the suggestions on how to do that.....
Oct. 23, 2012, 1:29 pm
Walker from USA says:
A legislator in Staten Island has called for a mandatory 25-year sentence for anyone who uses a gun in a violent crime. The assumption is that gang members will be more afraid of a 25-year sentence instead of a 10-year term.
Well, at least ONE NY Legislator is using his brain. That's a start.
Oct. 23, 2012, 1:36 pm
Walker from USA says:
They say prevention begins with proper identification of the behaviors to be prevented....Does preying on, brutalizing and killing fellow human beings qualify as a behavior you'd want to prevent?
Oct. 23, 2012, 1:43 pm
JD from Used to be Brooklyn says:
Enforce laws on the book against straw buyers and the gun dealers who repeatedly sell to them. We can trace guns used in crimes to their previous owners (if any), and to the sellers. The ones who pop up on top are put on notice that the guns they sell are frequently used for murders, and that they need to change business practices, or face sanctions or civil/criminal charges.
Oct. 24, 2012, 9:09 am

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