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New anti-gun effort could cost US taxpayers $1.5 billion

Sen. Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y) makes opening remarks during a hearing attended by a panel of Department of Homeland Security senior officials. Jan. 20, 2016. (CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett)
January 31, 2022

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday called on the federal government to give $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds to New York for the state’s new anti-gun task force that he said would help combat “the scourge of gun violence.”

During a press conference in Manhattan, Schumer praised New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s new Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, but said it would only be successful with the support of billions in federal funding.

“I am pushing for $1.5 billion dollars in federal funds for the agency, so they can help with this work and do much more at the national level,” Schumer said, according to The New York Post. “Without the $1.5 billion … these plans will not have their full impact, and we need full impact to address the flow of these crime guns in our communities and across our state.”

Schumer said he would secure the federal money this week, adding that the task force is on his “front-burner.”

The White House also announced that President Joe Biden will travel to New York this week to meet with New York City Mayor Eric Adams to talk about gun violence in the city.

The Feb. 3 meeting will include discussions on additional funding for law enforcement officers and investments in community violence intervention programs, CBS New York reported.

“I look forward to welcoming President Biden to New York City next week and sitting down to discuss how we can work collaboratively to end the scourge of gun violence we are seeing on New York City streets,” Adams said in a statement. “The sea of violence comes from many rivers, and that’s why my Blueprint to End Gun Violence in New York City seeks to dam every river that feeds this greater crisis. Public safety is my administration’s highest priority, and we welcome the opportunity to display to President Biden how federal and local governments can coordinate and support each other in this fight to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Last week, Mayor Adams announced the revival of the NYPD’s plainclothes unit, which was previously disbanded by former Mayor Bill DeBlasio amid anti-police riots raging nationwide.

Adams said the units will be deployed to 30 precincts where 80 percent of New York City’s violent crimes are reported. Roughly 400 police officers are expected to join the reinstated units, which are now called “Neighborhood Safety Teams.”

“We will have boots on the ground on every block,” said Adams, who declared gun violence “a public health crisis” and “the number one threat in our city.”