Police report an increase of gun seizures
NEW YORK STATE--Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced that the state police are reporting a 104 percent increase in gun seizures this year. These statistics were boosted by a months-long investigation that resulted in the recovery of a large cache of firearms and the arrest of multiple suspects who were involved in a gun trafficking ring. The investigation was conducted by the state police gun trafficking interdiction unit. The governor secured $2.5 million to fund 14 GTIU positions in the fiscal year 2023 budget following the creation of the unit last summer.
"We continue to make real progress in our aggressive fight against the gun violence that has plagued New York," Hochul said. "Through our support for the new state police gun trafficking interdiction unit, we are focused on investigating and bringing to justice those who are trafficking guns into the state and selling them illegally to other criminals who are intent on circumventing the state's gun regulations. I was proud to help secure $2.5 million in state budget funding for this specialized unit to support their critical work, and today we send a strong message to gun traffickers everywhere: we will hold them accountable for their role in bringing violence to our streets and will continue to seize illegal guns."
State police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "I want to thank the governor for her continued support. We are fully committed to slowing the flow of illegal guns into our state, through the commitment of our own resources and collaboration with law enforcement partners at all levels."
Late last year, the state police GTIU started its very first investigation into a gun trafficking ring operating in multiple jurisdictions. The months-long investigation resulted in the execution of search warrants at multiple locations in various counties. Overall, the case resulted in the seizure of 30 guns, including six assault rifles, seven high-capacity magazines, twelve ghost gun pistols and assorted ghost gun parts. Multiple individuals have been arrested. Additional information is being withheld at this time because of pending prosecution.
The state police GTIU targets the trafficking of illegal guns in New York, and conducts complex, long-term investigations that focus on mitigating the source of supply.
So far this year, state police have seized 795 guns, a 104 percent increase compared with the 389 guns seized over the same period last year. Overall, 3,166 gun seizures have been reported by all law enforcement agencies in the state compared to 2,181 during the same period last year, an increase of 45 percent.
The state police GTIU is one of several initiatives in New York state. Other programs include the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, a first-in-the-nation initiative bringing together law enforcement representatives from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Quebec, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the New York City Police Department, to share intelligence, strategies and tactics related to gun trafficking investigations.