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Cuomo, Brown target flow of illegal guns

As a candidate, Andrew Cuomo called for the creation of a statewide panel of mayors and county executives to slow the flow of illegal guns into New York State.

As the state's new attorney general, Cuomo came to Buffalo Monday and asked Mayor Byron W. Brown to join in that effort.

"You can't leave it to the city alone to fight this fight," Cuomo said at a City Hall news conference. "A lot of the problem is coming from downstate, believe it or not."

Cuomo, a longtime gun control advocate, has made it clear that reducing gun violence will be a priority in his administration. And the importation of illegal guns into New York is at the top of his list.

The Democrat used his first visit to Buffalo since taking office to promote his agenda, including initiatives to eliminate the flow of illegal guns used to commit crimes in Buffalo and other upstate cities.

"It's the one percent of the gun dealers in this country who sell over 50 percent of the guns used in crimes," Cuomo told reporters.

He wants to curtail the flow of illegal guns by using the coalition to pressure gun manufacturers and dealers into adopting more-responsible sales practices.

Coalition members, for example, could collectively decide to purchase firearms for their police departments only from manufacturers and dealers that adhere to a specific code of conduct.

The Cuomo initiative is similar to the national coalition New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg formed earlier this year.

Brown, who is part of that group as well, said Cuomo's idea also may improve the exchange of intelligence among police agencies, especially as it relates to guns, gangs and drugs coming from New York City into upstate.

During the campaign, Cuomo called for a ban on the sale of "Saturday Night Specials," or junk guns.

He also wants to require the microstamping of guns to help police track down illegal guns and solve crimes. Microstamping is a new identification technology that leaves the make and model on each shell casing fired by that gun.


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