New York’s Next Mayor: Gun Rights for Me, but Not for Thee
Eric Adams, who recently won the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City and is therefore expected to succeed Bill de Blasio in January, yesterday agreed with CNN’s Jake Tapper that his party’s obsession with banning so-called assault weapons reflected “misplaced” priorities. Yet as a state senator, Adams supported an expansion of New York’s “assault weapon” ban, a purely symbolic law that has been widely flouted and has done nothing to reduce gun violence. Worse, the former police captain’s role in that legislation illustrated his view that current and retired cops should not have to follow the gun rules that apply to the rest of us.
While interviewing Adams on State of the Nation, Tapper noted that the firearms targeted by “assault weapon” bans account for a small share of homicides, which are far more likely to be committed with ordinary handguns. “Do you think the priorities of national Democrats may have been misplaced?” he asked. “Yes, I do,” Adams replied. “I believe those priorities, they really were misplaced.”
Adams did not seem to think so in 2013, when he and his colleagues hurriedly approved a gun control bill that Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act broadened the definition of “assault weapons” to include semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have any of seven prohibited features. As usual with such laws, the logic of that list was hard to fathom. An adjustable stock, a threaded barrel, or a bayonet mount, for instance, does not make a rifle any deadlier, but such features are enough to make the rifle illegal in New York.
“This long-overdue vote adds important new safeguards to prevent the purchase of the most dangerous firearms,” Adams claimed after the legislature approved the NY SAFE Act. “I am proud to have personally introduced much of the legislation that led to this agreement, and to have worked alongside my fellow Brooklynites to push Albany for a stricter assault weapo
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