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Heinous Murder Of NYPD Officer Brian Moore Was Enabled By Gun Runners Who Illegally Traffic Guns From Southern States To NYC Streets Via Gun Pipeline—Schumer Wants Feds To Choke Off Trafficking Flow To NYC 

85% Of NYC Crime Guns From Out Of State & 90% Are Illegal—One Of The Best Ways To Beat Back “Iron Pipeline” To NYC Is By Aggressively Increasing ATF’s Resources and Capabilities, Which Schumer Will Fight For In Appropriations Committee 

Schumer: Appalling Murder Of Officer Brian Moore Shows We Must Beef Up ATF’s Ability to Attack The “Iron Pipeline” Of Illegal Guns Trafficked To NYC From The South


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today demanded a federal crackdown on stolen and illegally-trafficked firearms making their way into New York City from other states, especially in the South, with lax gun laws via the “iron pipeline.” Schumer said southern states like Georgia—which is where the gun used to kill NYPD hero Brian Moore came from—feed the flow of an illicit and deadly gun-trafficking pipeline responsible for transplanting countless out-of-state, illegal firearms into New York City. 

Today, Schumer is urging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to devise and implement a new strategy to zero in on this “iron pipeline” responsible for the torrent of guns into New York City. Schumer vowed to fight for new ATF resources and capabilities to execute this mission, and detailed three ways to bolster their efforts to take down the “iron pipeline” to New York City.

First—Supporting more federal resources and modernization of the ATF’s National Tracing Center used by NYPD and other local departments fighting the scourge of crime guns in their communities. The center helps police agencies trace crime guns from their original source and could help law enforcement connect the dots to a gun-running hot spots and criminal enterprises.

Schumer said there is a budget rider which restricts the National Tracing Center from having a searchable database of guns used in crimes.  That means that to find out information about a gun recovered in a crime, ATF agents have to search by hand through hundreds of paper records, an absurdity in the information age.

Second – Eliminating the damaging Tiahrt amendment, which restricts the ATF from sharing trace data with law enforcement and the public. Better, more sophisticated tracing could help expose an illegal criminal gun-running ring much faster. Schumer has rallied against this amendment before, but says now events like Officer Moore’s murder and even clearer evidence of the flow of crime guns to places like New York City will help him and colleagues to renew that call. The Tiahrt rider also shields trace data so that it is not considered admissible evidence in court. Schumer says this not only hurts the ATF but keeps criminal enterprises and gun runners on the streets.

Third—Schumer said the ATF needs a permanent director who can lead these efforts. The ATF is once again without a formal director, which hurts the ATF’s ability to use Congress to support its broader missions, like stopping the flow of crime guns to New York City. Schumer will work to push through the nomination of a new ATF Director, giving the agency the leadership and direction it desperately needs.

According to the NYPD, 85 percent of New York City guns used in crimes come from out of state and 90 percent of New York City crime guns are totally illegal. Schumer explained how illegal guns often travel via a criminal pipeline, from states with lax gun laws, especially in the south, to states with safer gun laws. Specifically, the tragic murder of NYPD Officer Brian Moore last week was carried out by a trafficked gun that was stolen from a store in Georgia and brought to New York City.

According to ATF stats, in 2013, Georgia exported twice the national average of crime guns. In that year, 3,061 guns sold in Georgia were recovered and successfully traced in other states. Between 2006 and 2009, Georgia was the nation’s leading source of interstate crime guns. And in 2013, more than 4,000 guns made their way to New York City streets and were used in crimes, likely enabled by gun runners from the South.   

Schumer further pointed out that the semiautomatic pistol used against Officers Liu and Ramos was bought legally 18 years ago from a sprawling bonanza of low-cost weaponry in Jonesboro, Georgia. As recently as 2010, the store, Arrowhead Pawn Shop, was the leading out-of-state source of guns recovered in crimes by the New York Police Department. Moreover, it was in Georgia where a gun running scheme was exposed by DA Thompson in the Atlanta airport this past year.

Schumer said, given this information, it is no coincidence that nine of the twenty-three guns stolen from a Georgia shop in 2011 have been recovered in New York City. Schumer said this is a major pathway the feds should follow to identify, arrest and prosecute the original supplier of these Georgia guns into the city. Schumer said Georgia is a hot bed for illegal gun trafficking and pointed to the crime guns used to murder NYPD officers Liu and Ramos this past December.

Schumer added that one of the best ways to beat back the New York City gun running pipeline is through stepped up efforts by the ATF.  He said with police officer safety risked by New York City’s gun trafficking numbers, the feds must first hone in on and then immediately break up any pipeline responsible for funneling guns into NYC boroughs. He vowed to do all he could to give ATF the ability to meet this mission.  

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow officers of NYPD hero Brian Moore, who was tragically killed by a cowardly criminal using an illegal gun exported to New York City from gun law-lax Georgia via the so-called ‘iron pipeline,’” Schumer said. “The feds, especially the ATF, must step up the campaign to cut-off that pipeline and I will fight to get them the resources and enhanced capabilities to do just that. Georgia, and other southern states, have long been the irresponsible source for some of New York City’s most horrendous gun crimes. That’s why I am pushing to get rid of the barriers faced by ATF; fighting to get them the resources and capabilities they need to carry out this mission; and asking them to immediately devote more of these resources to cracking down on the rush of crime guns flowing onto our streets. Now, more than ever, we need the federal resources and the ATF to permanently clog this noxious and deadly ‘iron pipeline’.”

Demetrius Blackwell has been charged with first-degree murder for shooting and tragically killing NYPD Officer Brian Moore last week. Blackwell’s gun—a Taurus model 85 revolver--was traced to  a licensed firearms dealer, Little's Bait, Tackle & Pawn in Perry, Georgia; 23 firearms were reported stolen from the store  on October 3, 2011. Nine of those guns have since been recovered at New York City crime scenes.

ATF protects communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombing, acts of terrorism and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. Firearms trafficking is addressed through normal operations as well as specific programs, such as ATF’s Violent Crime Impact Teams and Project Gunrunner teams.