A successful challenge to the New York's strict gun law before the Supreme Court could "open the floodgates" and worsen a crisis of gun violence, New York City's top cop warned.
In an interview aired Sunday with radio host John Catsimatidis on "The Cats Roundtable," Commissioner Dermot Shea said "we are watching this closely."
"Gun violence is certainly something that has hit us here in the last two years – not just New York, but across the country," Shea said. "We would argue that the last thing we need is the infusion of additional guns into the streets of New York City."
Shea hailed efforts before the COVID-19 pandemic and bail reform measures gave New York City a handle "on how to keep guns out of New York City for so long."
"To have that upended is really a concern," he said.
Based on questioning from the justices Nov. 3, a law that requires "proper cause" for people seeking a license to carry a handgun in public faces an uncertain future.
New York State has one of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, sharply limiting people's ability to carry weapons outside their homes.
A majority of the justices seemed prepared to say it imposes an intolerable burden on the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment, though several justices seemed open to allowing the state to exclude guns from crowded public settings or other sensitive places, the New York Times reported.
What is being argued is any attempt to regulate by our [gun] License Division here in New York City would be struck down," Shea said. "What that would do would really open the floodgates in terms of people being able to carry guns across the city."
According to Shea, "it's a tough enough environment as it is."
"We see guns stolen. We see heated arguments escalate in a hurry," he said. "We would love for it to be [only] the NYPD and law-enforcement carrying the guns. Let us deal with the criminals who are illegally carrying the guns on the streets. That's a tough enough job these days."
Shea said New Yorkers have "a pretty significant confidence in the ability of the NYPD to keep criminals at bay and to fight crime."
"But you gotta give cops the tools that they need," he said. "When's the last time we actually had a law that actually helped the police [get] passed in New York State?"
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