Protecting New Yorkers from Gun Violence



Thirty-three thousand Americans die each year from gun violence. Approximately 5,500 of these deaths are homicides of young, men of color. In New York State, there are nearly 3,000 shootings each year.


The mass shootings that make the front pages and nightly news are devastating, but represent a fraction of the gun violence on our streets. This violence is devastating our families and communities, and is causing financial ruin to our local economies. It is estimated that gun violence costs New York State $5.6 billion each year.


New York State has the third lowest rate of gun deaths in the country. Strict gun control laws in the state have reduced gun violence over the decades, but homicides continue to plague low-income communities of color.


New York’s gun laws have made it exceedingly difficult to purchase a gun in the state, meaning that when a gun is used to commit a crime in New York, there is a 75 percent chance it was originally purchased in another state. In New York City, nearly 90 percent of crime guns originated elsewhere.


Having strong gun laws in New York State is not enough. Particularly with the NRA waging a full-throated propaganda campaign to thwart any common sense gun laws passing at the federal level. New York has long been a leader in the fight against gun violence, but we must do more to make our laws even more comprehensive, ramp up enforcement of the laws already on the books, and use creative thinking to make up for obstruction on the federal level and lax gun laws in other states.


As Public Advocate, I have used my office to fight the scourge of gun violence. I led the way on divesting New York City’s largest pension fund from gun retailers, stood up to banks that funded the makers of assault weapons, took on Walmart and pushed them to change their gun sale policies, took action against gun makers that failed to disclose risks to their shareholders, and successfully advocated for increased funding for the public health model of gun violence prevention.


As Attorney General, I will:

  • Investigate the legitimacy of the NRA as a charitable institution;

  • Investigate arms dealers and enforce prohibitions against the sale of illegal firearms;

  • Go after fraudulent business practices by gun companies that deceive their shareholders by failing to disclose risks;

  • Target weapons manufacturers that knowingly sell to bad apple dealers;

  • Investigate the financial backing of gun makers and sellers;

  • Take on interstate trafficking working with coalition partners; and,

  • Pushing a legal and legislative agenda to close legal loopholes.


Read my full policy brief outlining my platform to take on the scourge of gun violence as New York State Attorney General.