A whopping 74 percent of firearms recovered by police at crime scenes in New York State came from somewhere else, according to a report released Tuesday by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, but instead of underscoring a problem with so-called “lax gun laws” in other states, this actually confirms what gun rights activists have contended for years.
Strict gun control laws may prevent law-abiding citizens from getting firearms, but they don’t prevent criminals from getting guns through some illicit means.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Schneiderman blames “lax” gun laws in other states – Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida – for a big part of the problem. Reuters reported that “some 86 percent of handguns recovered by law enforcement agencies were from out of state.”
It was not clear whether those guns had been purchased and moved to the Empire State illegally, or if they were merely stolen and pushed into the black market.
Buried in the text of this report appears to be a lament that there is no central federal gun registry, which is prohibited by law. The report notes:
Federal law currently prohibits the creation of a comprehensive central database of firearms or firearms purchasers that law enforcement could access when recovering a crime gun.”
And Schneiderman added this remark: “It’s time for the federal government—and other states—to take common sense measures and ensure weak gun laws won’t continue to take the lives of New Yorkers.”
The report is based on an analysis of data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to the WSJ story. The newspaper said more than 53,000 “crime guns” had been recovered in New York between 2010 and 2015, and of those, 34,344 came from out of state. The origins of 6,401 of those guns could not be established, the newspaper said.
There is no small irony in the timing of this report. The International Business Times reported Tuesday that gun sales in the United States are spiking, apparently out of fears that Hillary Clinton will win the election Nov. 8. She’s made no secret of the fact that she favors tougher gun control laws, but her presence on the ballot is resulting in more guns in private hands.