NYC Mayor wants to go after gun manufacturers

NYC Mayor wants to go after gun manufacturers
AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is no friend of the gun industry. Absolutely no one is surprised to know that. After all, he’s been pretty quick to blame guns for his city’s problems with violent crime, despite having been a cop and knowing just how little the law does to disarm bad guys.

Now, though, as mayor, he’s taking aim at firearm manufacturers.

Mayor Eric Adams and several of his counterparts from other cities vowed Wednesday to hold five top U.S. weapon manufacturers accountable for their role in the country’s gun violence epidemic — and hinted that legal action against the firearm slingers could be forthcoming.

The manufacturers — Glock, Taurus, Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Polymer80 — produced more than half of the guns used for crimes in New York and 11 other major U.S. cities last year, according to fresh data that Adams and a half-dozen fellow mayors unveiled during an afternoon press conference at Gracie Mansion.

Adams, who has made public safety the top priority of his young mayoral tenure, said the way the companies advertise and sell their products is fueling the surge in gun violence that’s swept the nation during the pandemic.

“A $9 billion industry of gun manufacturers made a decision: They’re going to put profit over our public safety,” Adams said. “They’re no different than the cigarette manufacturers of yesteryears, who year after year, knowing that their product produced a dangerous outcome, continued to lie and hide.”

Except there are huge differences between these manufacturers and the tobacco industry.

The tobacco industry conducted studies and found that their products were deadly, then actively worked to hide that information to the public.

In other words, they maximized the potential damage their products had.

The firearm industry, however, hasn’t done anything of the sort. They’re a heavily regulated industry that cannot sell directly to individuals, really. I mean, you can buy from their website, but it still has to go through a licensed gun dealer.

So there’s absolutely no direct link between most of these companies and the criminals who eventually obtain their firearms.

As a result, blaming the gun manufacturers–and note that most of those five companies happen to be among the most popular gun makers in the country–is less than pointless.

The truth is that Adams is like most other politicians. They don’t know what to do, so they toss the blame onto an industry that their constituents are pre-disposed to hate.

However, his lawsuits can only go so far. The PLCAA is still a thing, and while New York state law has tried to carve an exception by targeting the marketing of firearms, I don’t think that will hold up since such laws generally don’t require anyone to prove the bad guy ever saw said marketing.

Blaming manufacturers is easy, but it’s lazy. Anyone who understands the industry knows that they can’t contribute directly to violent crime. There are already too many laws in place to prevent that. Adams knows this as well. He’s just trying to put the blame for his failings on someone else.