New York politicians are shooting for an open statewide gun offender registry.
Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced legislation Wednesday to make the city’s gun offender registry publicly available online and create a similar statewide registry.
Vallone will introduce the bill tomorrow in a City Council meeting. State Senator Jeffrey Klein and Assemblymember Carl Heastie will introduce bills in the Senate and Assembly to create a statewide registry.
Vallone, who is the chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, helped create the city’s gun offender registry in 2006. It is currently only available to the NYPD and doesn’t include law-abiding firearm owners.
Diaz and Vallone want the state to follow suit.
“New York City’s gun offender registry has kept the spotlight of the law on the most dangerous criminals among us—and it is time for the entire state to follow in our footsteps and utilize this effective crime-fighting tool, which helped the NYPD and Commissioner Raymond Kelly make New York the safest big city in America,” Vallone said.
The proposal comes at a time when Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials are up in arms against guns following several tragedies around the country.
Also, on August 19 Bloomberg and Kelly announced the largest seizure of illegal guns in city history as cops recovered 254 firearms and indicted 19 people.
Bloomberg and Kelly touted the controversial stop-and-frisk policy as a reason that selling illegal weapons in the city was more difficult, because one of the men arrested was heard saying he couldn’t bring the weapons to Brownsville, Brooklyn because of the practice.
New York stats show criminals convicted of gun possessions are more likely to be rearrested when compared to other felonies, according to Vallone. There were 595 eligible gun offenders in New York City as of December 2012 and 302 of them are back in jail.
“We cannot allow these violent offenders to slip through the cracks upon their release from prison, and these bills will keep residents and law enforcement officers across the state well aware of their locations,” Vallone said.
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