Shootings Spike in Gun-Controlled New York City

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

It's not unusual for crime to increase as the temperature rises, but warmer weather alone can't account for the sharp increase in shootings that have taken place across New York City over the past few weeks. 


According to the New York Post, the number of shooting incidents in the five boroughs in June is up by almost one-third compared to 2023. Over the past week the figures have gotten even worse, with a 50% spike in shootings across the city.

“It’s like the Wild East because we’re on the East Side,” said Sokpini Tay, whose 11-year-old son, Kyhara Tay, was killed by an errant slug. “Nobody’s really doing anything it seems. Nobody really cares.

“Basically, everybody’s doing it and getting away with it,” he said. “The summer just started so I mean it should be going up because you’re gonna have more people out and about.”

Officials at City Hall said more cops were deployed to troubled precincts following an earlier spike in shootings in 2022 and 2023 – and note that overall crime is down throughout the Big Apple. 

Police data show that most major crimes have dipped since last year, including a nearly 15% decrease in murder, a 10% drop in burglaries and a 10.5% reduction in car thefts.

However, other crimes have crept upward in the past year. That includes rapes, which are up to 734 from 583 this time last year, and robberies, which have risen to 7,505 this year compared to 7,120 at the same time last year – jumps of 7.5% and 5.4%, respectively.

It's not lawful concealed carry holders who are responsible for the increase in shootings. In fact, a number of these incidents have involved kids not old enough to legally possess a firearm at all, including a 16-year-old arrested on Tuesday on murder and weapons charges.

Startling surveillance video obtained by the Daily News shows two men talking outside the Blue Sky Smoke Shop at W. 207th St. and 10th Ave. in Inwood when the shooter, wearing a black ski mask, opens fire at them from across the street around 11:40 p.m. on Sunday.

One of the men is seen dropping to the sidewalk, then lifting his head to shout twice, “Call an ambulance.”

Michael James, 44, was shot in the face. He was rushed by medics to Harlem Hospital, where he died just after midnight Monday. The shooter’s other target, 45-year-old Alejandro Ramirez, died at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital minutes later, cops said.

On Wednesday, Ramirez, who was known as Alex, was mourned by staff and customers alike at his longtime workplace, Johnny’s Pizza on Dyckman St. near Post Ave., about four blocks from where he was killed.

“Your heart’s broke. You feel like every day now, you want to remember him. This business is a family,” said Kostantinos Ieromonahos, co-owner of the pizzeria.


Police haven't released any details about the motive of the suspect, nor have they released any information about how the teen allegedly obtained a gun and ammunition. New York has "universal" background checks for both firearms and ammunition, but New York City itself is almost entirely bereft of gun shops, and there's a thriving illicit market for firearms. 

As I said earlier this month, exercising your Second Amendment rights in NYC is a time-consuming and expensive process, but if you don't mind breaking the law it's incredibly easy to get a gun. 

According to the NYPD, more than 2,700 guns have been confiscated in the city this year; almost 18 guns per day. Meanwhile, the department won't say how many concealed carry permits have been issued since the start of the year; perhaps because it would be embarrassing to officially acknowledge the paltry number of concealed carry licensees in the city. We do know that in 2022 the department only issued 1,551 carry permits, compared to seizing 7,135 guns from individuals who were possessing them in violation of New York law.

There are 16-year-olds running around the streets of Brooklyn with guns while 60-year-olds are twiddling their thumbs waiting on the NYPD Licensing Bureau to process the carry application they dropped off months ago. New York's gun control laws are failing the public safety test, but they're also infringing on the inherent right to bear arms in self-defense. New Yorkers trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights can't expect any relief from a hostile state legislature or city council, but there's still a chance that the Supreme Court will soon weigh in on the state's post-Bruen carry laws in Antonyuk v. James, which has been held in conference since early June. Something's gotta give, and SCOTUS is the best avenue to give New Yorkers the Second Amendment relief they deserve. 


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