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Police Wonder If They’ll Need To Confiscate Assault Weapons In Event Of Ban

Guns seized from a car following a police chase in Queens (credit: NYPD)

Guns seized from a car following a police chase in Queens (credit: NYPD)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Amid talk of reinstating the assault weapons ban that expired eight years ago, police departments nationwide are thinking of ways to confiscate such weapons.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, among the departments considering taking action is the NYPD. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said if Congress were to reinstate the ban, police are wondering whether it will be their responsibility to confiscate them.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

“I think that is a big, big question,” Kelly said. “Do you engage in a buyback?”

Kelly said the NYPD’s existing gun buyback has been successful.

“We’re up to about in two years, about 8500 weapons now, and that’s a significant number,” Kelly said.

But Kelly said with hundreds of millions of guns out there, buybacks are just one small part of curbing gun violence.

President Barack Obama and other lawmakers have come out in favor of re-implementing the assault weapons ban, as well as limits on the size of clips that can be used.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has previously said the expiration of the ban has allowed weapons of war back onto the streets.

While Mayor Bloomberg said it is right for President Obama to console the grieving in Newtown, on the assault weapons ban he says it’s time for the president to stand up and lead.

Bloomberg noted that New York state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and New York City has the lowest murder rate of any big American city.

Bloomberg is a long-time gun advocate who started “Mayors Against Guns,” which now has more than 700 members. He has been lobbying for:

  • Renewal of the assault weapon ban.
  • Required background checks for every gun sold right now — 40 percent of all guns are sold without background checks.
  • Stronger enforcement of straw sales, where someone buys a gun for someone not eligible to own one.
  • A requirement that states enter criminal and mental health records into the federal background check system.

The mayor said a shooting rampage like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary “only happens in America.”

Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster .223 assault rifle to kill 26 people inside the school, including 20 children. Police said Lanza did not use the two handguns he also had with him.

Do you support reinstating the assault weapons ban? Please leave your comments below…