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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Diaz looks for takers on gun registry proposal

By Adam Wisnieski
Posted

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s call to create a gun crime registry is picking up steam. 

Mr. Diaz wants to expand the NYPD’s existing registry of those convicted of gun crimes to include statewide data and to put the information online.

The federal sex offender registry is a model for what the gun crime database might look like. 

On Tuesday, Councilman Peter Vallone, chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, announced he planned to draft legislation to make the city data publicly available and called for the state to do the same.

But is Albany up for taking up gun control again after passing a huge block of gun-related legislation this session?

In 2006, New York became the first American city to create a registry that requires defendants convicted of gun crimes to register their addresses with police, to verify them in person every six months and to notify police if they move. The registry was fashioned after the one built to comply with Megan’s Laws, and require those convicted of a sex act against a child to register with police.

Mr. Diaz proposed a gun registry at his State of the Borough address on Feb. 19. It would take information already kept on file by the NYPD and release it online to the public. 

New York’s gun registry is one of the hallmarks of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s assault on illegal guns. According to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, those convicted of felony gun possession are more likely to be re-arrested than other felons and are four times more likely to be arrested for homicide.

Mr. Diaz calls for additional details, including employment information, to be made available to the public for at least 10 years following a conviction. After ten years, a person would have the option of being removed from the registry for good behavior. Mr. Diaz said it will ensure that those convicted of gun violence do not escape the spotlight.

“I don’t know about you, but I believe that law abiding citizens ought to know who among us are responsible for gun violence,” Mr. Diaz said in his State of the Borough address.

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