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PR- 150-13
April 28, 2013


Firearm-Related Deaths in New York City Decreased by More than 30 Percent Since 2000 - While National Trend Shows No Decline: Firearms Report

The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, April 28, 2013.

"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"One of the greatest public health challenges of our time is reducing the epidemic levels of gun violence that plague our nation. Every day, 33 Americans are murdered with firearms. And in the wake of Congress's recent refusal to listen to the American people and take action, 12,000 of our fellow citizens will be murdered with guns this year alone. The special interests would have us believe that we're powerless to stop the bloodshed.

"New Yorkers know better. Here in New York City, we've done everything possible to take illegal guns off the streets. That includes helping to pass the toughest law in the nation against illegal possession of a loaded gun. It also includes smart, pro-active policing that makes it much more likely that if you break our city's gun laws, you'll be caught. The result: Last year, we cut murders and shootings to all-time lows - and so far this year, murders are down another 34 percent, and shootings are also down another 25 percent. There's just no question that our strategy is working, and today the City's Health Department is releasing a new report that makes that even clearer.

"According to the Health Department's new study, between 2000 and 2011, our city's firearms-related murders declined by more than 30 percent - from 524 in 2000 to 366 in 2011. That's in stark contrast to the national trend, which showed no decline over the same period. What's more, the number of New Yorkers who were injured by a firearm in this 11-year period declined, too - by 21 percent. Our success at keeping guns off our streets has meant that our City's overall firearms fatality rate is less than half the rate in the rest of the country, and it's markedly lower than that of other major cities. And when researchers looked at suicide - the tenth-leading cause of death nationally according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control - our study showed that New York's firearms-related suicide rate is approximately one-ninth the national average, and it ranks the lowest among the nation's 25 most populous cities.

"As far as we've come, though, the fact is that gun violence remains a serious problem. The study found that's especially true in some New York communities. East New York, Crown Heights, Central Harlem, and the South Bronx have the highest rates of firearms death and injury in the entire city - rates twice the city's average. In fact, firearms are the leading cause of death among males aged 15 to 24 in those communities. We're working every day to address this epidemic by targeting police resources where they're most needed and implementing the same pro-active law enforcement strategies that have proven so effective citywide.

"We will continue doing everything we can to keep illegal guns off our streets, because the more people we can keep from carrying guns, the more lives we can save.

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."


Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958


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Read the report (inĀ PDF)