New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is in denial about the city’s crime. His time as the accidental mayor of Gotham is winding down just as crime has risen, leaving residents scared to walk the streets. Even Times Square is unsafe.
That’s not a standard that’s good enough for mayoral candidate and former cop Eric Adams. In one of the most strict gun control cities in America that’s in one of the most strict gun control states, Adams said he will carry a firearm if elected mayor.
It’s something to pay attention to with polling showing him in the lead. Big Apple residents seem to care more about safety in the city and a mayor who will walk the walk for them instead of pushing more gun control and cutting safety budgets.
Safety has always been a key issue in New York City. Last year, the city saw riots, destroyed buildings, burned businesses and rising criminal violence. Mayor de Blasio twiddled his thumbs and caved to the “defund the police” mob. In June, he announced a $1 billion cut to NYC law enforcement.
Mayor de Blasio also approved a so-called “compassionate release” of violent criminals from Rikers Island even as crime escalated. He got it wrong again and even complained as the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear a gun rights case originating in New York.
The real problem is Mayor de Blasio chooses to limit the rights of law-abiding New City residents and blame them for gun violence instead of criminals breaking the law.
A Gotham Mayor Carrying?
Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams is a former police officer and saw enough to announce his candidacy for mayor. During an NYC podcast interview, Adams was asked if he’d carry a firearm in office should he win.
“Yes I will, number one. And number two, I won’t have a security detail,” Adams said. “If the city is safe, the mayor shouldn’t have a security detail with him. He should be walking the street by himself.”
The second comment was a dig at Mayor de Blasio, who uses a taxpayer-funded armed security detail. He has no issue with protecting himself by those who are paid to carry firearms, but he can’t fathom that New Yorkers would keep and bear firearms to protect themselves. Adams sees right through the hypocrisy.
Adams’ bluntness and focus on the city’s security problem earned him voter attention. A new poll of the mayoral race was released showing Adams with the lead over previous longtime frontrunner and failed 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who embraces a wide range of gun control notions.
There are still concerns. Adams railed against standard capacity magazines in 2011 while he was a state senator and backed budget cuts to the city’s police department in 2020 only to reverse himself this year.
No Soft Targets
Adams also advocated that off-duty police officers be allowed to carry their firearms while attending religious services and encouraged them to remain armed.
“If we have police officers standing in front of churches, then we can’t say it’s wrong for a police officer who’s off duty to be inside churches with a gun,” he said. “If they’re leaving those firearms home, I now say to them: Stop leaving your firearm home. Do as I do. Bring your firearm to church.”
Those comments came in the wake of the horrific murders at a Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people lost their lives. The comments also resonate in the aftermath when Jack Wilson, a concealed carry permit holder and volunteer security guard, used his concealed firearm to stop a murderer from attempting to inflict horror at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas.
Adams isn’t the only candidate talking about New York City gun rights. Fernando Mateo is a Republican candidate for mayor and said he would reverse the trend of city officials slow-walking concealed carry permits to reduce crime. On this point, he and Adams agree.
“It’s very hypocritical for Democrats that are currently running for mayor and carry guns or have bodyguards with guns to tell others they can’t,” Mateo said according to Breitbart. “Why don’t they give up their armed security. Why don’t the bureaucrats that are so anti-gun fire their armed security or surrender their guns?”
The city’s primary is weeks away and the general election isn’t until November. Some candidates are willing to buck the gun control mindset and take a stand for law-abiding citizens protecting themselves with firearms.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.