On June 8, New York City Mayor Eric Adams testified before the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee and insisted that it was “time to decide if we are going to be a nation of laws, or a confederation of chaos,” amid a surge in violent gun crime in his city and a series of horrific shootings across the nation.
“It is high noon in America. The clock is ticking, every day, every minute towards another hour of death,” Adams said, adding that, “We are facing a crisis that is killing more Americans than war. A crisis that is now the number one cause of death for our young people. A crisis that is flooding our cities with illegal guns faster than we can take them off the street.”
Adams pleaded with Congress for help to address the plague of gun violence that has dogged his short time as mayor of the Big Apple, saying that the NYPD has already removed an estimated 3,000 illegal guns from New York City streets this year alone however Adams said, “the guns just keep coming.”
“We need Congress to take the handcuffs off the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and let them do their jobs. That means confirming President Biden’s nominee as soon as possible,” he said, adding that, “And we must work together to dam all the rivers that lead to this sea of violence. Common-sense gun reform must become the law of the land.”
Adams was challenged and asked why intervention from the federal level was required to implement gun control laws to which Adams argued that the city is grappling with an increase in “ghost guns.” He said that many firearms used in local crimes were either stolen or had been transported into the city illegally.
“We need assistance with the partnership with the federal government to stop the flow of guns in our cities,” Adams argued.
Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) questioned Adams’ claim that the NYPD were seizing guns in “record numbers” even though it’s illegal in the city for many to carry them to which Adams replied, “Yes — and many come from Georgia.”
NewYork State has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation however they appear to do little to stem the tide of violence. Hice pointed this out saying, “And yet, we all know New York has continued in recent years to see a rise in crime. Yes or no?” Adams conceded the point replying, “Yes.”
Federal aid requested
Mayor Adams made a direct request for more federal aid to address the violence.
“We need Congress to direct federal aid to localities and states that supports not just law enforcement and violence prevention, but also access to high-quality health care, childcare, education, and housing.”
Adams pleaded for several pieces of legislation to be passed saying, “I am pleased that today the House will vote on H.R.7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, and I urge swift passage of the gun violence prevention package for consideration in the Senate.”
He also urged the Senate to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 saying that these gun safety bills “will make our cities and our people safer.”
“We must build a society where our youth are on a path to fulfillment, not a road to ruin,” Adams argued, adding that, “This is my calling, my duty, and my life’s work. I did it as a police officer, in a uniform and wearing a badge. And I do it now, as the elected leader of our largest American City.
“It is high noon in America. Time to live up to our ideals. Time to work together to protect each other and our communities. Time to take action on gun violence. Because if you truly love this country, then you love your neighbor and you fight for their freedoms, for their families, and for their lives,” Adams pleaded.