Shooting Incident Crisis Management System in High Need Areas and Legislation to Strengthen Gun Control Laws Among Key Recommendations
City Hall, NY- The Task Force to Combat Gun Violence today released its recommendations to reduce gun violence in New York City to the City Council.
Task Force co-chairs Council Members Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera were joined by the community leaders and academic experts serving on the task force, including Jackie Rowe-Adams, Harlem Mothers SAVE; Nancy Ginsburg; Legal Aid Society; Jackie Hilly, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence; Tamika Mallory, National Action Network; Khary Lazarre-White, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol; Glenn E. Martin, David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy; Rev. Terry Troia, Project Hospitality Inc.; Clyde Cole , New Leaders; Glenn Martin, Fortune Society; Sharon Ife Charles, Center for Court Innovation; Center Robin Holmes, Mission Society; Andre Mitchell, Man Up; and Erica Ford, I Love My Life Foundation. The Task Force was formed by Speaker Christine C. Quinn in 2011 to formulate solutions to combat gun violence in New York City.
“Over the last year, the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence has worked to develop recommendations to reduce gun violence in our City,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Working with the Task Force, the Council has already implemented some of its proposals, including the launch of new pilot programing five high-risk neighborhoods throughout the city. I thank Council Members Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera, and all the members of the Task Force for their dedication and commitment to this effort and I look forward to reviewing the full report as we work together to find solutions that will keep our neighborhoods safe.”
“The Task Force to Combat Gun Violence has worked hard over the last year to tackle the epidemic of shootings that are taking New York City’s sons and daughters from us far too soon,” said Task Force to Combat Gun Violence Co-Chair Jumaane Williams. “Through a comprehensive analysis of data and study of first-hand evidence and experiences from our most at-risk precincts, we arrived at a framework to begin turning these communities around. These pilot programs are the first step in what I hope will be an approach we take in every corner of this city. Furthermore, by addressing both the demand and supply sides of gun violence, I believe we can not only save lives, we can transform the potential of young people headed down the wrong path.”
In its findings, the Task Force stressed the urgency of the passage of State and Federal legislation to strengthen gun control laws and stop the flow of illegal guns into New York State.
“The recommendations in the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence Report are comprehensive proposals to make meaningful reductions to gun violence in our City,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera, Co-Chair of the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence. “I thank my colleagues for their dedicated work on this issue. Only by working collaboratively on the City, State and Federal levels can we curb violence and start saving lives.”
The Task Force main recommendation to the Council was a new Shooting Incident Crisis Management system that would implement a comprehensive response to gun violence. This system would provide immediate support after violence occurs and would engage community members with education and prevention to reduce and de-escalate future incidents.
The Crisis Management System developed by the Task Force would be piloted in five target neighborhoods – one in each borough with the most shooting incidents:
• South Bronx
• Jamaica, Queens
• North Shore of Staten Island
• East New York
A central part of this new initiative would be the creation of CureViolence programs in each of the pilot areas.
CureViolence focuses on key geographic areas with high levels of shootings. Community staff reaches out to those most likely to be at-risk of, or engaged in violence, to help stop shootings before they happen and de-escalate incidents or retaliatory shootings.
The Task Force also recommended that additional support services be connected with the cure violence programs to provide needed supports for the at risk youth, their families, and the community at large in these pilot areas, including community and professional mental health services, school based conflict mediation services, job training and placement services, and legal services. This new model is currently underway in five neighborhoods with the support from the City Council, which provided over $4 million dollars to fund the initiative.
“In the midst of such turmoil in relation to gun violence, the release of the Task Force to Combat Gun Violence report will help the City Council and the City focus on legislation and policies that prevent gun violence and protect the public safety of our citizens. The tragedy in Newtown, CT and the rest of the nation has brought public safety into the forefront. It is time to take action and concrete steps in removing firearms off the streets so that our streets, playgrounds, schools and churches can be safer for all of us,” said Councilmember Robert Jackson, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
“The Center for Court Innovation was honored to participate in the City Council’s Gun Task Force and work collaboratively with residents, businesses, government partners and social service providers dedicated to fighting gun violence,” said Sharon Ife Charles, Citywide Coordinator of Anti-Violence Programs for the Center for Court Innovation. “We feel there can be no better time to assist those affected by gun violence by adopting the proven anti-violence strategies outlined in the report.”
The Task Force also recommended implementing a Public Education Campaign to Change Attitudes on Gun Violence. Multiple distinct but related campaigns would be targeted at youth, families and communities, and all city residents and leaders to help change attitudes and ultimately decrease levels of gun violence.
“The climate of gun violence across the country is a crisis, and while New York has one of the lowest murder rates among major U.S. cities, the proportions of people of color in this city that are still impacted by gun violence is reason for us to examine strategies that will help young folks avoid carrying guns,” said Tamika D. Mallory, National Executive Director, National Action Network and a member of the Task Force. “We at National Action Network are passionate about turning these recommendations into a movement, rather than merely a moment of analysis.”
“The Task Force believes, above all else, that the approaches to both violence prevention and responses to shootings must be multifaceted and incorporate a wide array of government agencies, nonprofits and community groups. We must use conflict resolution tactics, a public health response, a true and separate rehabilitation space for juveniles offenders, youth development strategies that focus on redefining masculinity, community policing, legislative reductions in gun access, and targeted neighborhood responses to this scourge of violence,” said Khary Lazarre-White, Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol. “There is no single approach to reduce what is a pervasive and long held American obsession with violence – it must be multifaceted, deep, innovative and far ranging.”
“We support the efforts of Speaker Christine C. Quinn and the New York City Council to combat gun violence,” said Nancy Ginsburg, Director of the Adolescent Intervention and Diversion Project at the Legal Aid Society. “The Legal Aid Society appreciates the opportunity to serve on the task force which is releasing an extremely meaningful report which, we believe, will produce excellent results in the effort to curtail gun violence.”
“The Task Force insists that every citizen has a responsibility to ensure that every child grows up in healthy and safe communities. Zip codes should no more determine once life chances as should their income,” said Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research. “The Crisis Management System will address violence comprehensively as a citywide public health problem. We believe this system will address holistically the disease of violence when an outbreak occurs and will rebuild individuals and communities rather than isolating and alienating them. Whether in Newtown or New York City, we all benefit when every young person lives to achieve their full potential.”
In conjunction with solutions to change the culture of gun violence in New York City, the Task Force also announced its support for critical State and Federal legislation to mitigate gun violence including:
.675C Peralta / A. 1157B Schimel
Microstamping: Require all semiautomatic handguns manufactured or delivered to any licensed NYS dealer to be able to microstamp ammunition.
S.676 Peralta / A. 3597 Kavanagh
Gun Dealer Employee Background Checks – Require all employees of dealers in firearms to submit to state and national criminal background checks.
S.3573 Adams / A.5866 Jeffries
Ban Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices – Close loophole that allows the sale of large capacity ammunition clips if they were manufactured before 9/13/1994 and ban the sale & possession of all high capacity magazines, regardless of when they were manufactured.
S.86 Squadron / A. 5926 Kavanagh
Ban on Sale, Use or Possession of 50-caliber or Larger Weapons
S.965 Peralta / A.361 Paulin
Improve Gun Dealer Regulations – This bill creates stringent record keeping and reporting to prevent gun sales to criminals; strict requirements on how dealers display and store weapons; requires dealers to submit inventory to law enforcement.
S.725 Peralta / A.380 Paulin
Five Year Renewable Permitting – Extend statewide practices to require the renewal of firearm permits every five years.
S.1440 Squadron / A.1479 Rosenthal
Strengthen the Assault Weapons Ban – Broaden the definition of “assault weapon” to ban possession and sale of any weapon that has one prohibited characteristic rather than two, as current law requires
Universal Background Checks – Require all firearm sales be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer, so that all legal requirements are met, including a background check on the prospective purchaser. This bill would close the private sale loophole created by federal law, which accounts for up to 40% of all gun sales nationwide.
Regulate Ammunitions Sales – Strict regulations to be imposed on ammunitions dealers. Requiring dealers to obtain permits, to retain detailed records, and to conduct inventory checks twice a year to account for any lost or stolen items.
One Gun A Month – Prohibit the sale and purchase of more than one firearm during any thirty-day period to reduce the number of guns entering the illegal market. This bill would prevent gun traffickers from buying guns in bulk and reselling to prohibited purchasers.
S.436 Schumer / H.R. 1781
McCarthy Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 – Ensure all individuals prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system.
Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2012 – This bill makes trafficking or assisting in trafficking of firearms a federal crime; calls for stiff penalties to deter gun trafficking. Greater penalties for “kingpins” who organize gun trafficking rings; and makes it unlawful to ship or receive two or more firearms where the individual knows or has reason to believe that the firearms have been unlawfully obtained.
S.32 Lautenberg / H.R. 308 McCarthy
Large Capacity Ammunition Prohibitions – Prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The Task Force also expressed support for federal legislation not yet introduced that would renew and strengthen the federal assault weapon ban, limit handgun purchases to 1 per month and require all guns manufactured or delivered for use in the United States to be equipped with microstamping technology.
The Full Task Force to Combat Gun Violence report is available online at http://www.council.nyc.gov.