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NYPD's Ray Kelly: Too Many Guns in America

By Greg Richter   |   Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 11:05 PM

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly wants to see universal background checks and federal gun trafficking laws in the wake of two recent incidents.

"There's way too many guns abroad in America," Kelly said Wednesday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live." "We have as many as 300 million guns in this country … and, unfortunately, you're going to see events like this take place when you have that number of weapons. We think we're in need of sensible gun laws, federal laws."

The shooting death of an Australian college student in Oklahoma and the storming of a school in Georgia in recent days has reignited the gun control debate.

Kelly's office recently seized 245 illegal guns in a trafficking scheme in which weapons were brought in from North and South Carolina. Federal trafficking laws and background checks would make his job easier, he said.

"This is common sense, but it doesn't look like either of these things is going to happen in the near term," Kelly said. "There's a lot of polarization here."

People in big cities have a different idea of guns and gun control than people in rural areas, he said.

"I think a lot of people are simply not affected by guns," he said. "People in urban areas are, and, quite frankly, in communities of color for the most part."

In New York City, 97 percent of people shot are black or Latino, he noted.

"So if you don't live in a major city, if you don't live in one of those neighborhoods, it's something you might read about in the newspaper, but you're not personally affected by it," Kelly said.

He admitted there is a legitmate debate on both sides, but added, "In New York City and other cities in America we are being plagued with the proliferation of guns."

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