East Village Church Brings Gun Violence Against Children Into Focus for Holy Week

Categories: East Village, Guns

Photo by Lara Zarum/Village Voice
Reverend Winnie Varghese leans over a bamboo cross in the yard of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, adjusting a T-shirt that hangs off the cross along with roughly 40 others, the clothes flapping in the cold wind. "Most people walk in and figure it out right away," she says.

Each of the t-shirts has the name, age, and story of a child younger than 12 who was killed or injured by gunfire in the United States since last Easter. The crosses went up in the front yard of the church, which sits at the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 10th Street, yesterday, Palm Sunday. They will remain in the yard for the duration of Holy Week, which lasts until Easter, this coming Sunday.

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You'll Never Guess What TSA Inspectors Confiscated at NYC Airports in 2014

Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration
For some reason, a traveler tried to carry this sickle in his carry-on bag at Newark Liberty Airport.

From expandable batons and "sword canes" to gun parts and a really terrifying-looking sickle, New York and New Jersey's Transportation Security Administration inspectors have made some interesting finds over the past year. While, thankfully, none of the region's three major airports are listed on the TSA's list of top airports for gun seizures, travelers in the area still managed to keep inspectors busy.

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Manhattan Double Homicide Caught on Tape

Categories: Guns, Homicide, NYPD

Image: NYPD video
An early morning shooting left two people dead.
The NYPD is seeking the public's help to solve a double homicide in Manhattan early Sunday morning. The shooting took place on Broadway near 151 St. in Harlem.

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Pro-Gun Groups Are So Very Annoyed at Jerome Hauer, Cuomo Official Who Reportedly Used His Gun as a Laser Pointer

Categories: Cuomo, Guns, Lasers

Photo by Metropolitan Transit Authority via Wikimedia Commons
Jerome Hauer, left, meets with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and then-MTA Chair Joe Lhota during Hurricane Sandy
The Cuomo administration has a serious, potentially deadly laser pointer shortage. That's the only way to explain a report from the Albany Times-Union that Jerome Hauer, the state's commissioner of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, used the the laser sight on his handgun as a pointer during a presentation in October, panicking a bunch of foreign delegates from countries where guns are only used for civilized things like shooting people.

Anonymous state officials told the newspaper they'd witnessed the incident, which they said happened during a presentation to a foreign delegation at the State Police Headquarters. According to the unnamed officials, the paper adds, "three Swedish emergency managers in the delegation were rattled when the gun's laser tracked across one of their heads before Hauer found the map of New York, at which he wanted to point."

Hauer had a stroke a few years ago and "can be unsteady," the Times-Union adds. Also, he isn't legally allowed to carry a firearm at work. It's a violation of the state's Public Facilities Law. What a great, reassuring story, right?

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NY's Assault Weapons Ban Is Constitutional But Ammo Restriction Is Not, Federal Judge Rules

Categories: Courts, Guns

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Three weeks after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. last December, New York was the first state to pass stricter gun laws. A year later--with the political battle over gun control faded from national public discourse--a federal judge has upheld the majority of the state's legislation, ruling that the expanded assault weapons ban is constitutional but striking down a provision prohibiting magazines that hold more than seven rounds.

The increased "regulation of assault weapons and its ban on high-capacity magazines," Judge William Skretny, of U.S. District Court in Buffalo, ruled Tuesday, "further the state's important interest in public safety and do not impermissibly infringe on... Second Amendment rights"

The section of the bill that reduced a magazine's legal capacity from 10 rounds to seven, however, is "an arbitrary restriction" and therefore unconstitutional, Skretny stated.

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Suspected Gunman at the University of New Haven In Custody [UPDATE]

Categories: Guns

Update, 5:20 p.m.: The University of New Haven has lifted the lockdown after police completed their search of campus.

Update, 3:22 p.m.: NBC Connecticut reports that the suspect is a University of New Haven student, and that he was carrying two handguns in addition to a rifle. The Voice's request for comment from West Haven Police was not immediately returned.

Update, 2:40 p.m.: Afternoon classes have been cancelled. The university press office confirmed to the Village Voice that it is unclear how much longer the building-by-building search will continue.

Original item: A suspected gunman at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut has been taken into custody after sightings on the university's south campus.

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NYPD Officer Arrested in an International Gun Running Ring

Flickr/Brian nairB
In a crime likely to be a pie in the face for the city police department, an NYPD officer has been arrested as part of an international gun-smuggling ring. Officer Rex Maralit and his brothers Wilfredo and Ariel have been charged in a conspiracy to ship high-powered rifles from the U.S. to the Phillipines. The criminal complaint alleges Rex and Wilfredo, a customs officer at Los Angeles International Airport, used their law enforcement credentials to gain access to weapons, some of which are illegal for civilian use.

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Senator Chuck Schumer Wants To Ban 3D Printed Guns

Categories: Guns

Wikimedia Commons
Have you heard of 3D printing? Well, it could be the future of almost everything.

Basically, engineers have managed to take the concept of two-dimensional printing, in which ink is vertically layered on horizontal paper, to the next level. A computer design enables a printer to weave together plastic polymers from the bottom up to create any object you could possibly want.

Give that ability to the human race and leave it to us to mess it up: it was only a matter of time before we found out (a la the Vice documentary) that 3D printing was obviously being used to create illegal guns and drugs.

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Firearm Deaths Are Down, But Don't Jump To Conclusions About Stop and Frisk

Categories: Guns

FlickrJunkie via Compfight cc
Today, GOP mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis released a radio ad touting his support for "pro-active police work" and blasting foes of the NYPD's controversial practice of stop and frisk. The ad followed on the heels of a new report out from the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene showing that firearm deaths per capita in New York City plummeted by 32 percent between 2000 and 2012. The report itself noted the state's tight gun laws and permit review process, while Mayor Bloomberg also highlighted "proactive policing" as a factor in a Sunday address.

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Far Rockaway Mother Arrested after 7-Year-Old Son Arrives to School with Guns, Ammo in Backpack

Categories: Guns

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Deborah Farley, a 53-year-old mother in Queens, was arrested today, a day after her second-grade son was caught in school with a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol, a flare gun, and live ammunition in his backpack.

Farley notified the principal at Wave Preparatory Elementary School about two hours after dropping her son off for the day. She'd stashed the guns in his backpack previously and forgot about them.

When she returned home, another family member reminded her that her son had the guns, a 10-round magazine, and loose bullets in his bag. She rushed back and told the principal that she had to pull her son out of class. But according to the New York Daily News, the child falsely told Farley that he'd given the weapons to someone else. Only then did she tell the principal, who notified police and put the school on lockdown.

Farley was charged today with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, unlawful possession of a weapon, and endangering the welfare of a child.