Williams, Lander call for NYPD to halt use of easier-to-fire guns

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Office of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams and Council Member Brad Lander last Thursday called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Dermot Shea to halt the issuing of easier-to-fire weapons to new New York Police Department (NYPD) recruits until several concerns are addressed.

Use of the new firearms was first reported in August.

In their letter, the leaders rejected the notion that these new weapons are either necessary or an improvement, saying “Guns with triggers that require only five pounds of pressure to fire are unlikely to enhance public safety in our city.

“In a year where our city budget struggled, the decision to take on the cost of these weapons is a concern,” they added.

They questioned both the cost of the new guns and the decision-making process to authorize them, “a process which did not include community input or involvement.”

Williams and Lander also highlighted the potential risks associated with the weapons, arguing that “Our offices are not aware of any complaints that the weapons currently used by NYPD officers are, or have been, insufficient.

“We are aware there are too many instances when NYPD officers resorted to pulling the trigger and leading to innocent people losing their lives,” they wrote. “Guns that fire more quickly would not have prevented deaths or increased the safety of either officers or communities.”

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