From The Mayor's Desk ...
This year, our administration has launched an all-out battle against illegal guns. Even as we have driven crime down to a 40-year low, illegal guns remain a scourge on our streets; last year, they were used to kill more than 300 New Yorkers. About 90 percent of guns used in crimes in our city come from out-of-state, and so we've formed a bi-partisan coalition of mayors from around the country to help us attack the flow of illegal guns. We've also filed lawsuits against 15 gun dealers in five states that we caught selling illegally. These dealers are among the biggest suppliers of guns recovered from crimes in our city.
As we reach across state lines to stop the flow of illegal guns into our city, it's also crucial that we do more here at home. So not only are we strengthening enforcement of the law, we've also worked with the City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn on tough new legislation that will make it harder for illegal guns to get into the hands of criminals. I recently signed into law four new pieces of legislation that resulted from our joint efforts.
The first new law establishes a registry that will allow us to keep tabs on anyone in our city convicted of possessing an illegal firearm - and there are about 800 people convicted of this crime each year. These offenders warrant this kind of intensive supervision because they're much more likely to be re-arrested than other felons. In fact, they're four times more likely to be arrested for homicide.
By creating a registry that helps the police department monitor their activities and whereabouts, we'll be able to better protect the safety of their neighbors.
The second new law limits handgun purchases in our city to one every 90 days. There is simply no reason that any law-abiding person needs to buy more than four handguns a year. Gun traffickers, on the other hand, do need to buy guns frequently, and in bulk. Some states restrict handgun sales to one a month, and those laws have proven to be effective. Our new law sets the bar even higher.
The third new law will make it harder for gun dealers to sell under the table. While the vast majority of dealers are conscientious and abide by the law, there are some rogue dealers who claim their guns are lost or stolen when in reality they've sold them illegally. Many of these weapons invariably end up later being used in crimes. Our new law will help put an end to this kind of deception by requiring all dealers to present full, certified reports of their inventories to the NYPD every six months.
Finally, we adopted a law that confronts a disturbing problem that's emerged only within the past few months. A number of companies now sell fluorescent paint kits that make real guns look like toy guns. Believe it or not, it's true. Imagine the consequences: A child could easily mistake a gun that is painted pink or orange for a toy a gun...and a police officer could easily make the same mistake in the heat of the moment. In both cases, the result could be deadly. Now, under the new law, it will be a crime to sell, possess, or use these ridiculous paint kits.
As far as we know, each of these laws is either the first of its kind in the nation, or substantially tougher than anything on the books anywhere else. Together, they will help us continue making the safest big city in America even safer.