19 charged in largest gun bust in New York history
Nineteen people have been detained and 254 guns seized in what New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg called the largest gun bust in the city's history.
"There is no doubt that the seizure of these guns -- the largest bust in the city's history -- has saved lives," he said Monday at a press conference at the police headquarters, where many of the illegally trafficked guns were displayed.
Using court-authorized wiretaps, investigators have identified the gun sellers in North and South Carolina attempting to supply guns for the purpose of re-selling the weapons in New York City.
The 254 seized firearms include high-capacity assault weapons, a fully automatic machine gun and handguns, which are most typically the models of guns used to commit violent crimes in the five boroughs of New York City.
"New York is the safest big city in the nation, but year after year, illegal guns flow into our city from states that don't have common-sense laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals," Bloomberg said.
According to the most recent available gun trace data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the percentage of out-of-state guns used in crimes in New York City has been increasing in recent years.
In 2009, 85 percent of crime guns came from out-of-state. In 2010, that proportion was 86 percent, and in 2011, 90 percent of crime guns came from outside the State of New York.
Both North and South Carolina states have laws that allow criminals and traffickers to easily obtain guns, such as not requiring lost or stolen guns to be reported to law enforcement. They are in the list of top out-of-state for illegal firearms recovered and traced in New York City.
NEW YORK (Xinhua)