While much of the talk about guns in Washington, D.C., has revolved around assault rifles, Adams told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that lawmakers must also address the problem of illegal handguns.
“I believe those priorities, they really were misplaced and it’s almost insulting what we have witnessed over the last few years. Many of our presidents, they saw these numbers, they knew that the inner cities in particular, where Black, Brown, and poor people live, they knew they were dealing with this real crisis,” Adams said, citing Atlanta, the South Side of Chicago and the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn as examples.
“It is extremely important that just as we became energetic after we saw mass shootings with assault rifles in the suburban parts of our country – which we should have – we should have also focused on the handgun,” Adams continued. “The numbers of those who are killed with handguns are astronomical and if we don’t start having real federal legislation matched with states and cities we’re never going to get this crisis under control.”
Adams is not suggesting that lawmakers ban handguns, rather he wants improved monitoring that could locate illegal guns. This includes gun dealers “where there’s a real correlation, connection with the guns that are used in our streets,” and paying attention to “feeders” of illegal guns such as bus stations where people are bringing them in.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Democratic mayoral candidate is expected to meet with President Biden on Monday alongside other local figures to discuss gun violence and stopping illegal weapons. He recently criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to declare a disaster emergency for gun violence, asking “what took so long” for the governor to take action.
Adams will take on Republican Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels anti-crime group, in November’s election.