NYPD should press gun makers to use safety tech like fingerprints for safety, Brooklyn lawmaker says

NEW YORK — A Brooklyn state senator is urging the NYPD to use its buying power to pressure gun makers to take better advantage of the technologies that can help drive down shootings.

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie said the nation’s largest police department is second only to the U.S. military in the number of guns it buys — and that weapons manufacturers would listen if the NYPD said it would do business only with those that made gun safety a priority.

In a letter sent Monday to Police Commissioner Edward Caban, Myrie urged him to join the Gun Safety Consortium, an amalgam of elected officials and law enforcement agencies who have “joined together to encourage the development of technologies and products that will help gun owners secure their firearms, as well as products that can help law enforcement investigate and prevent gun-related crimes.”

Guns using fingerprint and facial recognition technology have emerged in recent years as ways to limit the use of a gun to its rightful owner — meaning if the weapon is stolen or sold on the black market, another person would be unable to fire it.

The NYPD said it would review Myrie’s letter.

“Is this a panacea for gun violence?” said the state senator. “No, but I think there’s an expectation we do everything in our power, and I certainly believe the Police Department is in a position to force some changes that would keep more New Yorkers safe.”

Myrie represents several neighborhoods, including East Flatbush, where gun violence is often a problem.

The consortium lists as its members 20 jurisdictions around the country, including Bridgeport, Conn. It did not respond to a request for comment.

Gun violence in New York City spiked during the pandemic but has dropped the past two years, though it remains a persistent problem in a number of neighborhoods that also have gang problems.