As Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly lead the fight calling for stricter gun laws, the National Rifle Association has worked to thwart those efforts with hefty donations to New York politicians.
The Daily News reports that over the past nine years the NRA has shelled out $217,000 in campaign donations to several New York politicians, more than any other state, in order to sway them against Bloomberg's push for microstamping, a technology that marks a unique code onto gun shells when fired.
Nearly half of those donations flooded in 2010, when Albany lawmakers eventually voted against a microstamping bill. Then a candidate for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman blogged for HuffPost urging the State Senate to pass the bill saying, "This is a tool that our law enforcement officers need to keep us safe. It's time to put politics aside and put public safety first."
The New York Times also rallied in support of the legislation, stating simply, "That sounds like a very smart idea to us," and concluding, "More than 1,000 murders have gone unsolved in New York over the past five years. Senators who oppose this bill will need to explain to voters why they would deny police departments critical information that would help apprehend murderers and other violent criminals."
News of the organization's campaign donations comes at a time when gun violence in the city has exploded, with eight officers shot already in 2012.
The tragic Trayon Martin shooting has also spurred the mayor to call for an overturn on the controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws nationwide.
Representative for Queens Jose Peralta sponsored the doomed bill and explained the NRA's cash tactics, "They are very organized. Their concern is if microstamping becomes law in New York, it will become a domino effect nationally."
When asked about the potential greater gun legislation on Tuesday, the police commissioner accompanied by Senator Chuck Schumer noted the difficulties in making such a reality:
Well, I think we've done everything we can reasonably do. Certainly the mayor has led this fight since he's been in office and done a terrific job in raising people's consciousness. But it's very difficult to move this type of legislation in Washington. So quite frankly, I'm not optimistic that there's going to be any significant change as far as federal legislation is concerned.
At least New Yorkers can take comfort in the fact the city has a plan to fight against rising smartphone thefts.