Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the New York Police Department seized some 254 firearms. The guns came from North Carolina and South Carolina by arms traffickers via buses, according to the NYPD.
Mayor Bloomberg is known for being very strict on gun control and has been very critical of the lax measures on keeping firearms off the streets and making them less accessible. Early this year, he called for supporters not to back fellow democrats who didn’t support stricter gun legislation.
“Year after year guns flow into our city from states that don’t have common sense gun laws.” Mayor Bloomberg stated. He also mentioned that the Carolinas were in the top three states that firearms used in violent crimes originate.
During an investigation lasting 10 months, a bulk of the guns were gained in some 45 purchases by an undercover officer. In that same investigation it was revealed that the guns were being sold out of a recording studio in Brooklyn. According to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, a rapper posted pictures of the guns and cash on Facebook’s Instagram.
In the following sweep that kicked off on August 2, two smugglers—Walter Walker and Earl Campbell—were picked up along with others. According to the NYPD, the two smugglers regularly took trips to New York to shill the arms. They used cross country bus lines to make the trips between the Carolinas and New York. Due to the low fares offered and the distance being on the same coast, the two could make several trips within a week.
The undercover officer involved in the investigation “made sure the NYPD was Walker’s only customer” according to Commissioner Kelly. The guns obtained ran the gamut of automatic machine guns, high capacity assault weapons, and handguns. In all, 19 people were brought in on a variety of felony weapons charges.
Commissioner Kelly said that the sales took place closer to the bus terminals that in Brooklyn for safety reasons. They believed it was less likely to get picked up in the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy.
The policy has come under fire recently due to the degree of racial profiling that is a lynch pin of the policy. Mayor Bloomberg’s administration recently appealed a ruling by a federal judge that deemed the practice unconstitutional.