At no point in this rush to condemn the [Supreme] Court [Bruen decision] and impose the nation’s harshest statewide restrictions on simple gun ownership did any major official offer evidence that these new laws would affect violence or crime rates. Virtually all gun crime in Gotham is committed by people wielding illegal guns, operating completely outside the gun-permitting and registration system. It’s already illegal to possess an unregistered gun, and carrying one is supposed to entail a mandatory prison sentence.
The fear that legal gun owners might take their guns to Times Square may or may not be well-founded; about 40,000 legal, permitted handguns are registered in New York City, and it would be less than ideal if their owners all converged in midtown to celebrate the Bruen decision. But it’s more sobering to consider a 1993 NYPD estimate that more than 2 million illegal guns circulate around the city. Some have been seized, but it’s hard to imagine, 30 years later, that the total number has changed radically.
With respect to the concerns of Councilmember [Eric] Bottcher, New Yorkers already live in a city where people routinely carry guns in their pockets. The problem is that New York has ceased to police its streets proactively, vigorously prosecute illegal gun-possession charges, and raise the cost of carrying illegal guns to the point that people would leave them home. Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg refuses to seek jail time for people charged simply with carrying a gun because “not every person charged with possessing an illegal gun in New York City is a driver of violence.”
— Seth Barron in New York’s “Gun-free” Stunt