handguns

Last week, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon launched the Firearms Anti-Violence Unit. The unit, which will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Nina Spadafora, is dedicated solely to prosecuting all of Staten Island’s gun cases, including murder. Per an official release from the District Attorney’s office, the unit will also “help identify drivers of shooting and gun violence incidents and better target community-specific efforts to reduce the incidence of gun violence.”

“This new Firearms Anti-Violence Unit is part of our ever vigilant fight to drive the crime numbers down and keep the streets of Staten Island safe by jailing those who victimize others with gun violence or traffic in the sale of illegal weapons,” McMahon said in a statement. “No community should ever have to live in fear of gun violence.”

According to the city’s statistics, the island has seen a 17.2 percent increase in the number of gun arrests since last year. The number of homicides, shooting incidents and and victims is up 51.4 percent since 2015.

The Firearms Anti-Violence Unit was designed to lower the number of gun-related crimes. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice provided the D.A.’s office with the funds to create the new unit.