NYPD Official blames "ghost gun" issue on bail reform

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The NYPD has a lot going on right now. New York is not a particularly nice place these days, what with all the violent crime and such.

Everyone is trying to work out the whys and wheres of the problem in hopes of dealing with it. In the midst of this is the hysteria surrounding unserialized firearms.

According to one official, though, the issue is bail reform.

An NYPD bigwig blamed bail reform for the number of guns flooding the Big Apple’s streets and worried about the proliferation of untraceable “ghost guns” in a radio interview that aired Sunday.

“There has not been a time in modern history where this many people have been walking around with guns not fearful of the consequences,” Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told host John Catsimatidis on his WABC 770 AM radio show.

Miller pointed to an incident just last week to illustrate his point. An NYPD cop, Officer Dennis Vargas, of the Bronx Borough public safety team, was shot in the arm in an exchange of gunfire with a man who had been freed ahead of a sentencing date connected to a past gun bust. The suspect, Rameek Smith, was killed in the Tuesday shootout.

“So you see the triangle of quality of life crimes lead to people involved in other violations of the law, including violent crimes,” Miller said.

City and police officials have made shootings a priority in terms of crime-fighting — with the NYPD launching special anti-gun teams to combat the scourge.

Nearly 70% of those busted by the new anti-gun units have a prior criminal history, officials have said. But, as The Post revealed last month, some suspects allegedly busted with weapons by the teams were allowed to walk free within hours of their arrest — thanks to lax judges and bail reform.

So, let’s get into this. Does Miller have a point?

Yes and no.

First, let’s understand that “ghost guns” aren’t really as big of an issue as they’re being portrayed. Yes, I have no doubt the NYPD is finding unserialized firearms. However, the question we need to be asking on this is whether those criminals would have gotten a gun in some other way, and yeah, they would have, so “ghost guns” aren’t the issue.

That brings me to my second point, which is the “yes” portion of the whole “yes and no” thing.

Putting criminals immediately back on the street as quickly as they are simply cannot be helping with violent crime reduction, regardless of the weapon type. You keep putting people right back on the street hours after they’re arrested and you can’t really be surprised that these folks are committing more crimes.

You just can’t.

So no, I don’t think there’s a pervasive issue stemming from so-called ghost guns that the NYPD just simply cannot handle. However, I do think that the bail reform issue has created a problem. After all, cities were tripping over themselves for bail reform, then just a short time later, we’re seeing a huge influx in violent crime, many of which were carried out by people who had been arrested a short time earlier?

Yeah, it’s not hard to look at that and think, “Maybe there’s a connection.” Especially since this isn’t just correlation at work here.