By Christopher Faherty
The New York Sun
NEW YORK — The number of guns recovered by law enforcement in the city last year increased significantly over the previous three years, statistics released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives show.
City law enforcement recovered 7,059 guns in 2006, a jump of about 1,000 over the 2003-05 period, when the totals for each year hovered at about 6,000, the statistics show.
While the bureau is concerned about the higher number of guns recovered in the city, the spike does not necessarily signify that more guns are coming into New York, a spokesman for the bureau, Special Agent Joseph Green, said.
The rise could be attributed to better police work and a few busts that involved large quantities of guns, he said.
Although the police department is responsible for confiscating the majority of guns in the city, the sharp increase does not correlate with similar statistics kept by the department. Police statistics show an incremental rise in gun recovery over the last four years, a spokesman for the department, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, said.
In 2006, Queens overtook the Bronx as the borough in which the second highest number of guns was recovered; about 200 more guns were recovered in Queens than in the Bronx last year; the Bronx led by nine weapons in 2005. Brooklyn traditionally is the borough in which the most guns are recovered, Mr. Green said.
The average amount of time between the day when a gun hit the street and the day it was confiscated dropped for the fourth straight year in 2006, Mr. Green said, a statistic that illustrates that law enforcement is winning the battle to get guns off the street.
"The longer these guns stay out there, the harder it is for us to trace them," he said. "We want to trace these guns immediately to the point of interdiction."
Copyright 2007 The New York Sun
NYPD gun recovery rate steadily increasing