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Eric Schneiderman: NY gun laws undermined by other states

New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman issues a report on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, showing that many guns recovered in crimes came from out of state. ( Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

Nearly 75 percent of guns connected to crimes and recovered by authorities in New York State originated out of state, according to a new study by the state attorney general’s office.

On Long Island, a nearly identical number, about 73 percent of such guns, or 4,844, came from outside New York, according to the report from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office.

Together, Nassau and Suffolk make up the state’s third-largest crime-gun market — the largest one is New York City — according to the study, which was released Tuesday.

Two Long Island ZIP codes — 11550 in Hempstead and 11553 in Uniondale — accounted for about 15 percent of the region’s gun recoveries.

The study also found that close to 90 percent of recovered handguns — the weapon of choice for violent criminals — originate in other states.

Schneiderman said his “Target on Trafficking” project, and an accompanying interactive web tool, show how New York’s restrictive gun laws are undermined by lax laws in “iron pipeline” states.

“This is the gangster’s dream gun,” Schneiderman said, holding up a seized, semiautomatic .32 caliber handgun from Florida, “that you can stick in your waistband.”

The iron-pipeline states are identified as those with looser guns laws along the Interstate 95 corridor and include Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Schneiderman said.

The report traces the purchase history of 52,915 firearms recovered by New York State law enforcement between 2010 and 2015.

The analysis shows that 74 percent of all crime guns recovered by authorities originated out of state. And nearly nine out of 10 handguns — 86 percent — come from out of state.

The report defined a crime gun as any gun connected to a crime that is recovered by authorities.

Schneiderman’s study included the crime of unlawful possession of a gun, in addition to crimes such as robbery, according to his spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick. A further breakdown of crime categories was not available, she said.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, in a statement released by Schneiderman, said the report “will help our department better track where these weapons are originating and how to combat the problem.”

Data for the report was provided by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The most likely trafficked guns come to Long Island from Florida, with about 16 percent of recoveries, followed by Virginia at 13 percent and Georgia at 12 percent.

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