NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is not mincing words about how he feels about Congress’ inability to stem the flow of guns into New York City.
“The issue remains a significant problem, and the reason it remains a significant problem is the easy and ready availability of huge amounts of firearms, particularly from down south. And our efforts up here are, we’re trying to deal with it up here, but we have a spigot that’s wide open down there,” Bratton said. “And we don’t have a national or local ability to shut that spigot down at the moment.”
Asked if Congress should be doing more about it, and gun violence in general, Bratton was blunt. He brought up the killing of Officer Randolph Holder, shot dead in the line of duty. Police divers recovered the .40 caliber Glock they say was used in the crime from the bottom of the East River. It was purchased legally in 2008 at a gun shop in South Carolina. Holder’s funeral is set for Wednesday.
“Personally, I have no faith in the Congress of the United States on this issue at all. They’ve been beholden to the NRA for most of my career in policing. I don’t see any movement away from that stranglehold that the NRA has. However, as the mayor has indicated, we have to keep trying, trying to chip away,” Bratton said.
“Because every time we lose a life, in this case my mind is very much on the officer we just lost, it still amazes me, the insanity of the United States Congress, that they just don’t get it. I don’t know why they don’t get it, other than that they are basically constantly down there with their hands out to the NRA looking for more money, and it’s just insanity.”
Bratton’s comments came as he, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced a major gun trafficking bust.
Six men were arrested, accused of selling loaded handguns, assault weapons and ammunition to an undercover officer. Another 74 illegal guns were seized in undercover buys as part of the investigation, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
The indictment says most of the alleged sales took place in broad daylight in residential neighborhoods in Harlem between January 2014 and August of this year.