Will NYC's Adams turn city into a police state?

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

I’ve been generally supportive over much of what New York City Mayor Eric Adams seeks to do to address the growing violence in his city. I don’t like the gun control laws that exist there, but focusing on criminals rather than making things worse for law-abiding citizens seems like a good idea.

However, not everyone shares that outlook. One who is critical of Adams is GOA’s Erich Pratt, who argues it’ll turn the Big Apple into a police state.

Although it’s no secret that New York City is already unfriendly to lawful gun owners, the steps Mayor Adams laid out will make the metropolis competitive with the Soviet Union for history’s most intrusive surveillance state.

New York’s gun control laws have abjectly failed to prevent criminal abuse of firearms. Even the progressive champion President Biden conceded that gun control laws did nothing to prevent the recent synagogue hostage crisis in Texas.

Yet the newest push to disarm lawful gun owners is even more severe than previous crackdowns. Why do politicians like Mayor Adams continue to push for laws that do virtually nothing to prevent crime?

Because gun control is not about public safety—it’s about public control.

To tackle so-called “gun trafficking,” Mayor Adams declared there will be spot checks for firearms at every point of entry, including “port authority and other bus and train stations,” in addition to the implementation of facial recognition technology. He also vowed to increase the penalties for, again, “gun trafficking.”

Now, Pratt isn’t wrong here.

The idea of checkpoints is incredibly problematic, and it’s not something I’m remotely supportive of. And yes, the term “police state” is completely and totally applicable.

Look, people who travel through the city are protected by safe travel laws. They shouldn’t have to justify their gun possession to anyone, particularly if they’re not residents and thus not required to go through the city’s draconian licensing requirements.

While going after armed criminals is fine and good, there needs to be a firm distinction between those and armed citizens.

I’m afraid Adams doesn’t actually get that.

An unfortunate side effect of a career in law enforcement–by no means universal, of course–is that many embrace more authoritarian measures simply because it’ll benefit the police. That’s not really how any of that is supposed to work, right and all being rights.

But, Adams is determined to do just that.

Pratt is right to call this out and I’m in the wrong for not having noted it and addressed it earlier.

Frankly, though, I don’t see how this is remotely legal in the first place anyway. It’s not a quick check for license and insurance but appears to be random stops to search people’s cars for guns. Absent probable cause and a warrant, I just don’t see how it’ll happen.

Which Adams, as a former police officer, should know.

I want to see how this ultimately plays out, because I’m pretty sure if it goes as advertised, no one will to go prison because all the evidence will be tossed.