New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced on Monday that since the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June 2022, hundreds of alleged gun traffickers have been arrested and thousands of illegal firearms have been seized. The legislation, which Gillibrand first introduced 14 years ago, aimed to address the issue of gun trafficking and provide law enforcement with the necessary tools to combat it.
According to Gillibrand, more than 200 people in 20 states have been charged with gun trafficking, and over 1,300 firearms, including nearly 200 AR-15–style rifles and 151 ghost guns, have been seized. In New York alone, 120 illicit firearms were confiscated, with nine defendants from the state, including eight from New York City.
The legislation not only tightened background checks for young gun buyers and closed loopholes for abusive partners but also allocated funds for mental health services and provided incentives for states to pass red flag laws. Approximately $100 million of the $750 million allocated for mental health services went to New York, which will be used to hire around 14,000 new mental health professionals in schools nationwide, including 400 in New York.
During a press conference, Gillibrand highlighted specific cases where authorities arrested gun traffickers linked to shootings in the New York metro area. One case involved a trafficking ring that transported firearms from Virginia to New York along the “Iron Pipeline.” Another case resulted in the seizure of 51 guns from alleged traffickers in Ohio, and 28 ghost guns were confiscated from members of the Latin Kings street gang in New Jersey.
Law enforcement officials, including NYPD Assistant Chief Jason Savino and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, praised the progress made in combating gun violence but acknowledged that more work needs to be done. Gillibrand expressed her ongoing commitment to strengthening red flag laws, banning assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines.