NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three-quarters of nearly 53,000 guns used to commit crimes in New York state – and nine out of 10 in New York City – were originally purchased in another state, according to a report released Tuesday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, Schneiderman said the statistic undermines the tough New York gun laws.
EXTRA: Interactive Gun Tracker
A year ago Tuesday, NYPD Officer Randolph Holder was shot and killed with a 40-caliber handgun bought in South Carolina. The 9-caliber pistol used to kill NYPD officers <a href=”http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/12/16/detective-rafael-ramos-foundation/”Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in December 2014 was purchased from a pawn shop in Georgia.
Those are just two examples in the exhaustive study by the Attorney General’s office.
“This is a gun that was picked up by my Organized Crime Task Force last year. It was initially sold in Florida before being trafficked into New York,” Schneiderman said as he held up a gun in an evidence bag in a news conference. “This gun represents the problem. This gun represents the dangers New Yorkers face.
The report looks at data from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on guns used in to commit crimes in New York between 2010 and 2015.
A total of 74 percent of the guns were originally purchased outside of New York. Handguns made up three-quarters of all the guns used in crimes, and 86 percent of those handguns were bought in another state.
New York City accounted for almost half of all guns recovered after being used in crimes — 25,799 — and 87 percent of those weapons were bought out of state.
The study also found that almost 90 percent of the out-of-state guns came from six states along Interstate 95 – Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
New York State has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. But according to Schneiderman, they are being undermined by weak laws in other states that make it easy for would-be criminals to get weapons.
“The message is that New York’s laws, which require permits for handguns, are working. The bad guys aren’t even trying to buy guns in New York. They know they have to get them from gun traffickers or travel to other states with weaker gun laws.”
But the analysis also shows that some of the weapons were originally purchased in states that have tougher gun laws.
Of the 14,588 traced weapons recovered in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Capital region and Lower Hudson Valley metropolitan areas, 42 percent, or 6,196, originated in New York, followed by 7 percent each in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Those are all states with relatively tight gun regulations and lower rates of gun ownership.
“This proves that no matter how tough your gun laws are, bad guys can get the guns,” Schneiderman said.
It is such a big problem that just a few days ago, police Commissioner James O’Neill and Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez smashed a gun ring intending to sell 40 handguns on the streets of New York from South Carolina.
“They were purchased legally by a gun runner, and then transported here through Chinatown buses and cars,” Gonzalez said. “Lax gun laws down there make it very difficult for us to prevent.”
The report is intended to pressure the federal government and state governments to enact stricter gun control laws.
“The epidemic of gun violence has gotten the public’s attention much more now than it has in the past, and the time is now to take action,” Schneiderman said.
Schneiderman said Congress should provide incentives for states to adopt universal background checks, make gun trafficking a federal crime and states should require licenses to own a handgun.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)