Gun Control

New York's Next Mayor: Gun Rights for Me, but Not for Thee

Eric Adams insists on a double standard that lets former cops like him escape the firearm restrictions everyone else has to follow.


Eric Adams, who recently won the Democratic nomination for mayor of New York City and is therefore expected to succeed Bill de Blasio in January, yesterday agreed with CNN's Jake Tapper that his party's obsession with banning so-called assault weapons reflected "misplaced" priorities. Yet as a state senator, Adams supported an expansion of New York's "assault weapon" ban, a purely symbolic law that has been widely flouted and has done nothing to reduce gun violence. Worse, the former police captain's role in that legislation illustrated his view that current and retired cops should not have to follow the gun rules that apply to the rest of us.

While interviewing Adams on State of the Nation, Tapper noted that the firearms targeted by "assault weapon" bans account for a small share of homicides, which are far more likely to be committed with ordinary handguns. "Do you think the priorities of national Democrats may have been misplaced?" he asked. "Yes, I do," Adams replied. "I believe those priorities, they really were misplaced."

Adams did not seem to think so in 2013, when he and his colleagues hurriedly approved a gun control bill that Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (NY SAFE) Act broadened the definition of "assault weapons" to include semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have any of seven prohibited features. As usual with such laws, the logic of that list was hard to fathom. An adjustable stock, a threaded barrel, or a bayonet mount, for instance, does not make a rifle any deadlier, but such features are enough to make the rifle illegal in New York.

"This long-overdue vote adds important new safeguards to prevent the purchase of the most dangerous firearms," Adams claimed after the legislature approved the NY SAFE Act. "I am proud to have personally introduced much of the legislation that led to this agreement, and to have worked alongside my fellow Brooklynites to push Albany for a stricter assault weapons ban, [for] restrictions on high-capacity magazines and for other common sense gun laws."

The NY SAFE Act required owners of newly banned "assault weapons" to register them with the state police by April 2014. When that deadline passed, fewer than 45,000 guns had been registered out of an estimated 1 million. As the New York Daily News noted in 2015, that pitiful result suggested that "many New Yorkers are ignoring a central provision of what had been touted by gun control advocates as a milestone law."

The law, which was passed in such a rush that legislators did not have a chance to read it, also reduced New York's limit on magazine capacity from 10 rounds to seven. Why? Because, as Cuomo explained, "nobody needs 10 bullets to kill a deer." After Cuomo discovered that the seven-round magazines he had mandated did not exist, that decree was changed to a rule that allowed gun owners to possess 10-round magazines as long as they did not put more than seven rounds in them (seriously). In 2013 a federal judge deemed that provision unconstitutional, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit agreed in 2015.

Adams was outraged by the seven-round limit, but only because legislators had neglected to include an exception for active-duty and retired law enforcement officers. "You can't give more ammo to the criminals," he said, explaining the need for a corrective amendment exempting him from the seven-round limit. Norman Seabrook, president of the New York City Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, elaborated on Adams' point:

As a law enforcement officer for over 20 years, I understand the importance of instituting a new policy on mandating the limits of bullets that a regular citizen can possess, but as a matter of fact the bad guys are not going to follow this law….The way the current legislation is drafted, it actually handcuffs the law enforcement community from having the necessary ammunition needed to save lives. We must not allow this to happen.

In other words, since it was obvious that criminals would ignore the seven-round limit, it would be reckless to make "the law enforcement community" follow it. But "regular citizens" did not deserve the defensive advantage that Adams demanded for himself. He literally voted to put himself above the law, unashamedly demanding a double standard that sent a clear message to his fellow New Yorkers: My life is worth more than yours.

The same attitude is apparent in Adams' announcement that he will carry a concealed handgun to protect himself as mayor. He presented that plan as evidence that he is a man of the people who "won't have a security detail." But in a state where it is essentially impossible for ordinary residents to legally carry handguns for self-defense, Adams' heat packing is a mark of privilege.

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  1. At this point, what is New York City “losing” on any candidate when it comes to gun rights? Maybe the suggestion that there’ll be a total ban?

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  2. If you live in NYC you know what you’re getting. I couldn’t care less.

    1. Right, because there are other places are perfect.

      1. No, there are just places that are better.

        1. Nearly all of them.

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              1. Go the Schiff away!

        2. Anything’s better than NYC or Chicago or Minneapolis or Portland or San Fran or Lost Angeles or Seattle or Oakland or Detroit……..
          Living up here in Northern Michigan and have no intentions of going anywhere else.
          But we do have Lansing and Comrade Whitmer along with her little lesbian Atty. Gen.Nessel.

      2. Right, because there are other places are perfect.

        Because “New York fucked up” and “perfect” are the only two possibilities.

        1. You are unnecessarily limiting yourself.

          There is also “New York is perfectly fucked up.”

    2. Then why care about anything? If you live in the US, you know what you are getting too.

  3. No security detail and no driver?
    I could see the following hypothetical situation playing out.

    Pulled over for DWB by rookie cop (who doesn’t know who the mayor is)
    Rookie cop panics in “fear of his life” at sight of gun and shoots him.

    Live or die the whole thing turns into a political S**tshow and it’s wins all around as everybody blames everybody else, while trying to justify their own position as correct.

    1. Could we change that to DWD (Driving While Democrat)?

    2. “”No security detail and no driver?””

      Yeah, we’ll see if that happens.

      DeBlasio said a similar thing. Then he said the police escort will have to follow all the traffic laws. The NYPD said fuck you we do what we do to protect the mayor. DeBlasio lost that argument.

  4. News flash: New York City mayoral candidate is a piece of shit. Citizens flabbergasted. Film at 11.

    1. Meet the next mayor of N.Y. City: Eric Adams. He’ll win with 35% more votes than registered voters.
      I’d vote for Curtis Sliwa but then I don’t live in that shite hole.

  5. This guy is just saying whatever he needs to get elected. His internal polling data is telling him two things. 1) The political left lost a lot of people when it combined its defund the police message with months of arson and massive spikes in violent crime in the inner-cities, and its general assault on self-defense laws. (I’m all for reforming/reducing policing in society if there’s an actual plan to let citizens protect themselves as needed, but the way the left loves to combine “no police” with the attempted criminalizing of instances of clear self defense is not a good look). I’ve said for a long time that I’m good with defunding the police, but the political left needs to get very honest about what that means (individuals having a robust right to protect themselves, free of malicious prosecution) and that until the left also recognizes a much-less restrained right to self-defense, the defund-the-police rhetoric is a no-go for a lot of people, including me (I’d unfortunately rather have an agent of the state shoot a criminal trying to kill me than me do it myself because I know the state will protect the cop no matter how awful the circumstances of his shoot and, by contrast, the state will destroy me as a private citizen no matter how lawful my defensive shoot is).

    2) Adams here sees that (in accordance with point 1), the gun control message of the left is at complete odds with the reality of the last year, which has been month after month of record-breaking gun sales for basically the last year and a half. The last year has seen mass rioting, looting, arson, robber and a general spike in violent crime, including murder. No sane person is going to stand for any of that while having no police to call on and the threat of spending the rest of their life in prison once they defend themselves. The options are, get murdered in a shithole failed city, call a cop and hope there’s still enough funding left that they will show up in time to save your ass, or shoot someone in self-defense and most-assuredly go straight to jail for the rest of your life once your local Soros-backed DA fries your ass with a mountain of criminal charges to score political cred and your local leftist community organizers use every lie and fib possible to get through jury selection so they can personally declare you guilty of every charge possible, no matter the facts of the case. Adams is clearly being hypocritical on this second issue, given his prior support for an “assault weapons ban” but that should all just be seen as a footnote for how out of wack things have become in the first place.

    1. But “defunding the police” to the left absolutely does not mean rights to self defense, it means federal control of all law enforcement via a centralized force and top-down directives.
      And that’s how you get a gestapo

      1. Exactly. The biggest proponents of “defund the police” from that political corner are busy going after high school substitute teachers with Lego sets and grandma’s who walked through the halls of Congress on Jan 6 waiving mini American flags. They talk daily about defunding the police while also cheering no-knock FBI SWAT raids on people for misdemeanor trespass of a public building during a protest event. I think your too generous in saying what they really wasn’t is all policing to be federalized. They’re just hypocritical to the point that they hate the police but love seeing cops abuse their political opponents. The political right has this problem too but they’re so far out of power they’ve had no chance to be hypocritical on this issue for almost a year now.

        1. True but you can go further. What the left ultimately wants is to do the inverse of the old South with their black codes. Instead of gun control for blacks and rights for whites, they want to criminalize gun ownership for whites but let blacks run free with them.

          Gun control in places like NYC can work provided law enforcement are free to go after career criminals for illegal possession, which means in practice mostly blacks and Latinos. Giuliani and Bloomberg got away with this for a while but now it’s about equity which means letting black criminals roam free with their weapons. Maybe as a black cop Adams has the credentials to reinstate some common sense policy; more liberal gun ownership for law abiding people of whatever color would help balance things a bit.

      2. The idea of defunding the police is a ton of baloney, which would absolutely not work! Reforming the police is the way to go. The police here in the United States is in need of a huge reform and overhaul.

  6. Because, as Cuomo explained, “nobody needs 10 bullets to kill a deer.”

    Textbook, modern Democrat.

    Maybe a prison sentence for willful violation of the constitution would knock some sense into his (and his party’s) fat head.

    1. And turns out you don’t need any bullets to kill 10,000 old people.

      1. +!

      2. Excellent point!

    2. Whenever I see Cuomo or read his name I immediately think of a box of rocks.

      1. I can see that. Both physically and metaphorically.

    3. Well, some people do. But you are generally allowed only 4 or 5 to make it more sporting or something.

  7. I never knew Sullum was the sort of racist white supremacist Nazi that would go after a black man just because he was black.

    1. He will have a gun though. Do you mean to say that doesn’t terrify you to your very core?

    2. If you’re saying that then who’s really the nazi?

    3. Made me LOL.

  8. Just another example of government types as the new version of nobility: exempt from the laws that the serfs must abide by. This is forbidden by the Constitution, but when has that stopped them?

  9. The joy of living in Arizona and walking into a gun show and leaving with an “assault rife” with a 30 round magazine and no one gives a shit.

    1. Agreed; I think the best we can hope for is that there will be places like AZ and places like NJ; as long as we have freedom of movement choose your locale accordingly.

  10. “Rights for me, but not for thee”

    Typical globalist/progressive

  11. Sullum should hop into a woodchipper for claiming that Adams will be the next mayor.

    Apparently Sullum doesn’t believe in fair elections. Adams has great opposition (Curtis Sliwa, who’s the most libertarian-leaning candidate that NYC has ever had) and is not a shoo-in, considering that he’s opposed policing (while he was one), opposed gun rights (as a politician), and currently lives in NJ.

    Unless there is massive fraud, Adams won’t win in November. He’s deeply unpopular, outside the cesspool of leftists.

    1. You taking bets?? You really think blue check marks will check red??

    2. NYC == “cesspool of leftists”

    3. “”Adams has great opposition (Curtis Sliwa, who’s the most libertarian-leaning candidate that NYC has ever had)””

      Sorry to burst that bubble but Sliwa has ran for Mayor a few times in the last 30 years and it went nowhere. I would not call that great opposition.

    4. “Unless there is massive fraud” is as far as it was necessary to read.

    1. Oh, wow, a spambot chose part of my comment to copy.

      I’m so flattered.

      1. Briefly convinced me to ignore it, rather than flag.

  12. As usual with such laws, the logic of that list was hard to fathom.

    “We have to do *something*, and this is *something*, so let’s do it.”

  13. After Cuomo discovered that the seven-round magazines he had mandated did not exist…


  14. This guy is better than De Blasio, but that is a very low bar. In other words this guy sucks less than the current mayor, but not by much.

  15. You get what you vote for. To some of us out west NYC is like another country so who cares?

  16. Adams is up against an old problem – you can’t be a Democrat and still make sense.

  17. Just more gun laws to ignore. Sure does suck when law-abiding citizens are treated worse than the criminals.

  18. Why is any of this surprising? While it is (currently) constitutionally impermissible the obvious solution to gun violence is to ban ALL guns. Australia is a classic example of a former guns-for-all society brought gun violence down to a de-minimus level

    1. Australia is a classic example of Irish democracy, where only 20% of the expected guns were turned in. In fact, Australia’s gun homicide rate has dropped at the same rate as the US, even with their gun confiscation fiasco.

  19. Going back quite a few years now, I once held an employment related security clearance, an AEC “Q” clearance. I was investigated, top to bottom by the FBI in connection with the above mentioned. I passed all investigations. I couldn’t purchase and own so much as a 22 caliber pistol though. Of course, anointed political types and those “connected” can, the necessary permits likely being hand delivered. I departed NYC in 1967. Any questions as to why? The long existing situation in NYC would make the writers of The Constitution turn over in their graves, I suspect. Anyone think otherwise?

    1. I’m fairly sure NYS’s may issue regime is going to lose in the SC. I’m curious if it will impact the NYC regime, though. It sure as well would make it a lot easier to reduce all those anti-Asian hate crimes if those elderly Asians were carrying. All it would take is 1 incident and the newspapers and TV coverage of it would take care of the rest.

  20. You have to admit it’s kind of funny he jacked a libertarian gun control argument and twisted it to only apply to he and his cop buddies.

  21. The inherent failure of gun control is that it only applies to the “little people”. Government officials & agencies are still armed. As noted, the possession of a concealed carry permit is a sign of privilege.
    Criminals are still armed. They simply do not give one hoot in Hell for any law, any court. They will ignore gun safety laws just as they ignore all other laws.
    As for the rest of us, the courts have consistently ruled that the government bears no responsibility for our safety. Look up Gonzalez v Castle Rock for one of the more recent rulings.

  22. I’ll give Adams the benefit of the doubt and say he may have evolved on the issue. If he is intellectually honest enough to admit today that gun bans haven’t been a good idea and was honest enough to realize there is a rational justification for 2A, that’s a start. Sure, it’s warped that he’s looking at constitutional rights on a rational basis, but he is a Democrat. I’ve never seen any of them approach civil liberties from a semi-religious perspective that acknowledges natural rights or God.

  23. This is so typical of the Dems. Consider the number of pop and movie stars who have armed escorts where ever they go yet constantly rail at the rest of us for owning guns and support disarming law abiding citizens.
    The hypocrisy is stunning.
    even now the Commucrats are planning to censor any speech they don’t like. It all begins with the censorship of anything related to the unapproved experimental MRNA shot that is dangerous to life and limb.
    But you can’t say that now.
    Well, you know what the dimwitted Dems can do with their censorship………
    The tyranny of authoritarian rule is now being forced onto the American people directly.
    David Icke calls it “the totalitarian two step.” It’s no longer a two step, it’s full on run.
    BTW, when the goon squad comes to your door, make sure it is locked and do not answer the door bell.
    You do not have to talk to them. You do not have to let them in either.

  24. Is this because current and retired cops are more skilled with guns? Seems I remember a shootout in midtown where a half dozen cops shot several dozen shots at a suspect and only one round hit the guy.

    I’ve never been a cop, but I can put 10 rounds in a 4-inch circle at 25 feet, no problem. (That’s one magazine, plus a reload with 3)

    1. Most cops are not very skilled when it comes to aiming a fire arm.
      The one exceptions I’ve seen was the CHP who was attempting to pull over a felon, then having to ditch his bike roll away from gunfire, get up and fire off three rounds to the suspect at thirty yards while running.It appears that two of the three rounds hit the POS and he took the room temperature challenge.
      The article also stated he is former Special Forces. There is a video of it taken with his body cam.

    2. Most cops only practice with their guns when the department requires them to go to the shooting range, and only with the rounds supplied by the department – and for most departments, that’s not nearly enough ammo to become good at shooting. But some have previous training (anyone who qualified for Special Forces was not only very skilled on many weapons, but could teach others to shoot), and some spend their own money and time to achieve and maintain real proficiency.

      However, the worst “cops who can’t shoot straight” stories are about the NYPD, e.g. the time they fired many rounds at a jaywalker and hit two bystanders but not the suspect. There’s a different reason for that. Two or three decades ago the NYPD brass decided that they couldn’t expect their poorly-trained cops to use the safety properly and re-armed the department with a pistol brand that claimed their heavy trigger pull made a safety lever unnecessary. In case that wasn’t enough, they special-ordered pistols with the trigger pull doubled over that heavy pull. NYPD cops can’t shoot straight no matter how well they aimed, because they can’t pull the trigger without pulling the gun away from the aim-point.

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