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News > World

New York Faces Limits in Coping with Gun Violence

  • First responders work at a nearby street after the subway station shooting, NYC, U.S., April 12, 2022.

    First responders work at a nearby street after the subway station shooting, NYC, U.S., April 12, 2022. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 15 April 2022

While NYC has some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of weapons that are used in crimes in the city are out-of-state purchased guns.

Christopher Herrmann, assistant professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, stated that local governments in New York face constraints in addressing gun violence if the U.S. federal government keeps existing laws unchanged.


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Without change in certain federal legislation, "cities like New York are not gonna be able to control a lot of the guns that come into the state and come into the city," he said, adding that gun control laws in states like Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and even Pennsylvania are kind of causing headaches to New York.

"New York City has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but the problem is that the overwhelming majority of guns that are used in crimes in New York City are out-of-state purchased guns," said Herrmann.

The significant increase of shootings and homicides in NYC and other cities around the United States over the last few years are linked to the pandemic, unemployment and financial stressors, which led to housing and food security issues as well as mental health stressors.

Herrmann's research shows that about 6 percent of the NYC streets experience one or more shootings. "This is a very localized problem that I feel like communities and the police can partner on and really create driving long term solutions," he said, adding that the unveiling of the Neighborhood Safety Teams in NYC is one of the easy things that the police department can do to start to address the gun violence problem.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams' new initiative with the summer youth employment is going to be well received but most of the time gun violence interruption programs are not properly funded.

On Tuesday, New York saw one of the most horrific shootings in decades when a gunman opened fire into commuters at a crowded subway station, leaving over 20 people shot or otherwise injured. According to data from the New York City Police Department, the city is witnessing a surge of gun shootings with over 300 people shot so far this year.

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