There was a sense of Back to the Future in New York City when current Democratic Mayor Eric Adams was joined by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg for an announcement. Bloomberg, of course, is the failed presidential candidate and hypocritical billionaire subsidizer of anti-Second Amendment gun control groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.
Mayor Adams largely won office by campaigning on getting tough on crime and made news when he let it be known he’d carry a concealed firearm in office and forgo the mayor’s security detail. Those promises have vanished.
Mayor Adams professed before reporters he doesn’t carry a firearm and the New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced more security for Mayor Adams following the city subway shooting incident. Turns out, the new boss is much like the old boss.
Mayor Adams welcomed Bloomberg to City Hall for a press event regarding summer programs for charter school students. The real headline, though, was a comment the current mayor made about the former’s gun control record.
Mayor Adams praised Bloomberg. “He was the modern-day Paul Revere around gun violence,” said Mayor Adams. “If we embraced what you were doing in cities across the country on gun violence, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”
“Where we are right now,” Mayor Adams means, is surging crime, lax prosecutors letting criminals off easy and gun control laws in the city that punishes law-abiding Americans while failing to hold criminals to account for their crimes. Mayor Adams took over City Hall following Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration that slashed the NYPD budget by $1 billion.
Bloomberg’s hardly a modern-day Paul Revere. Revere called Minutemen to arms in his midnight horseback ride warning of a British offensive. Bloomberg is a limousine liberal shouting for more gun control. His campaign to vilify the firearm industry actually put the lives of police and investigators in danger.
Bloomberg used his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group as a bludgeon against a Constitutionally-protected industry to file lawsuits against firearm retailers and distributors for the criminal misuse of guns in New York. Bloomberg, in violation of federal law, provided law enforcement sensitive trace data from the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to private investigators hired by the City’s civil attorneys to “investigate” firearm retailers by posing as gun buyers. Several retailers Bloomberg targeted fought back, filing suit against the mayor.
“Bloomberg went too far in gun sting,” a New York Times headline read. The paper reported, “Mr. Bloomberg and senior members of his administration committed fraud by directing undercover officers to falsify federal paperwork as they engaged in a gun purchase and that the mayor made defamatory statements about legitimate businesses.”
Bloomberg’s private operations interfered with as many as 18 federal investigations. The Justice Department admonished Bloomberg for rogue investigations in a letter that blasted him for conducting the stings “without proper law enforcement authority.”
Since, Bloomberg spent over $1 billion on his own short-lived presidential run and failed to buy Congressional seats for his gun control agenda. This is hardly the example New Yorkers are looking for when it comes to service to citizens over special interests that doesn’t protect communities.
The Wrong Example
Mayor Adams talked big about a tough-on-crime approach during the campaign. These days, though, he’s mirroring Bloomberg’s gun control mantras. He’s ignoring that criminals are committing the crimes and instead wants to blame guns.
“The problem we’re facing is a problem that is hitting our entire nation right now and that is why it is a national response,” Mayor Adams told CNN. “We need a national response to this issue.”
His crime reduction plan for New York City is a list of gun control favorites, including a national ban on modern sporting rifles (MSRs), which are already illegal in New York City, and universal background checks. Mayor Adams shared the stage with President Biden earlier this year and both blamed “rogue dealers” and an “iron pipeline” instead of focusing on the criminal activity happening right in New York City, where overall crime is up 41 percent since last year, major crimes spiked by 60 percent and murders rose 10 percent.
The reality is that New Yorkers and the rest of America reject Bloomberg’s gun control policies repackaged oin Mayor Adam’s new wrapping paper.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.