**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
DECEMBER 20, 2012
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Comments on Gun Control In The Wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy
(New York, NY)— “In the wake of the tragic school shooting that took place at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, claiming the lives of 27 innocents, the time has come to engage in a serious dialogue on gun control both on a local and national level.
I applaud Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other leaders who have called on President Obama to take bold action on gun control. Mayor Bloomberg, founder of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” recently called on the President to re-introduce the assault-weapons ban bill, and order the Department of Justice to aggressively pursue those who lie on weapons background check forms.
I echo Mayor Bloomberg, and further urge the New York State Legislature to tighten restrictions on assault weapons, and pass legislation requiring gun manufacturers to use bullet microstamping technology. This technology inscribes a gun’s make and model numbers on the firing pin, imprinting those numbers on the shell casings. This would allow shell casings picked up at crime scenes to be tracked to the gun that fired it. The utilization of this technology would offer the NYPD a new tool in fighting gun crime.
I recognize the work that the NYPD has done to seize and remove illegal guns from the streets of New York. For instance, in October 2012, the NYPD seized 100 illegal guns from weapons trafficking rings, including AK-47 assault rifles. The rings were believed to be selling illegal weapons brought into New York from pawn shops in South Carolina. However, it is equally important that the NYPD re-evaluate the sale of weapon’s materials (such as shell casings) to other states and municipalities with far more lax gun laws.
In 2012, New York City sold more than 28,000 pounds of the NYPD’s spent gun shell casings to a Georgia ammunition store. As per the laws in the state of Georgia, no identification or registration is required to purchase these materials. This is a practice that needs to be re-evaluated if New York is to continue to be seen as one of the most regulated gun-control states in the nation.
I again offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who were affected by this national tragedy.”
Council Member Letitia James introduced Int. 955-2012 into the Council, which would require the administration to report on the disposal of ammunition shell casings.