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Everytown Statement on NYPD Officer Brian Moore Killed with Illegal Gun Stolen from Georgia

NEW YORK CITY — Following the passing of New York Police Department officer Brian Moore, Everytown for Gun Safety released the following statement from Executive Vice President Megan Lewis:

“Our deepest sympathies are with the family of Officer Brian Moore and his NYPD colleagues. Once again, a police officer has been killed with an illegal gun from Georgia – a state that last year did the NRA’s bidding and weakened its already lax gun laws. These are the same laws that the gun lobby is now trying to force on other states nationwide. Americans have to decide what kind of country we want to live in. It’s past time for common-sense solutions to gun violence.”

Additional Information on the Shooting of NYPD Officer Brian Moore:

Shooting Facts

The Incident
• Demetrius Blackwell, 35, shot and killed Officer Brian Moore of the NYPD, 25, while Moore and his partner were patrolling Queens Village on the evening of May 2nd. Moore died from his injuries on May 4th.
• Police say Officer Moore noticed Blackwell acting suspiciously by adjusting his waistband multiple times; the officers, who were in plainclothes, followed Blackwell for one block before attempting to question him. At that point, Blackwell turned and fired at least two shots, striking Officer Moore in the face.
• After shooting Officer Moore, Blackwell fled the scene. After a 90-minute search, police located and arrested Blackwell at a nearby house and charged him with attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
• Upon Officer Moore’s death, prosecutors announced that they will charge Blackwell with first-degree murder.

The Firearm Used in the Shooting
• Authorities recovered a Taurus Model 85 .38-caliber revolver in the backyard of an adjacent home.
• The gun was traced to Little’s Bait, Tackle & Pawn in Perry, Georgia, from which 23 guns were reported stolen in October 2011. Nine of those guns have since been recovered at New York City crime scenes, including the gun Blackwell used to kill Officer Moore.

Blackwell is a convicted felon who was prohibited from possessing firearms.
• In 2001, Blackwell was convicted of attempted murder for firing into a person’s car during an attempted robbery and served five years in prison. Due to this felony conviction, he was prohibited from possessing firearms.
• In addition, Blackwell had been arrested nine times, including twice for assaults on police officers, and at the time of the shooting there was an active warrant for his arrest for criminal mischief stemming from an incident in November 2014.

Georgia is a top crime gun exporter.
A disproportionate number of guns purchased in Georgia are recovered at crime scenes in other states.
• In 2013, the state exported twice the national average of crime guns. In that year, 3,061 guns sold in Georgia were recovered and successfully traced in other states.
• Between 2006 and 2009, Georgia was the nation’s leading source of interstate crime guns.
In 2006, New York City sued 27 gun dealers in 5 states who were identified as being the sources of a disproportionate number of crime guns recovered in New York. Overall, 21 dealers settled, including 6 Georgia dealers. Subsequently, the share of guns sold by the targeted dealers and recovered by police in New York City within one year of retail sale decreased 75 percent.

Dangerous loopholes in state and federal law allow guns to end up in dangerous hands.
Georgia does not require criminal background checks on all gun sales. Felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people can buy guns from unlicensed sellers—including strangers they meet online—with no background check, no questions asked.
• States, like Georgia, that have not taken steps to close the background check loophole, export crime guns at a rate 2.5 times greater than states have made efforts to close this dangerous gap.
• States that require background checks on all handgun sales see 48% fewer law enforcement officers killed with handguns.
• Of fatal shootings of law enforcement in 2013 where the shooter was known, over one-half were committed by people prohibited from possessing guns.

Georgia does not require reporting of stolen guns and prohibits local governments from doing so. Georgia law prohibits local governments from requiring lost and stolen guns to be reported to authorities, enabling a lucrative market for “straw purchasers” – individuals who buy guns legally, sell them to criminals, and later claim that the guns were lost or stolen.
• States, like Georgia, that do not require reporting of lost or stolen firearms, export crime guns at a rate 2.5 times greater than states that do have this requirement.

Federal law prohibits ATF from requiring gun dealers to inventory their firearms. Since 2004, an appropriations rider has blocked ATF from requiring gun dealers to inventory their firearms. Routine physical inventories allow dealers to more quickly detect lost and stolen guns; the lack of an inventory requirement blocks law enforcement investigations and creates a loophole exploited by corrupt dealers.

Policy changes can reduce the flow of guns into dangerous hands.
• Requiring criminal background checks on all Georgia gun sales would keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people.
• Requiring reporting of stolen guns, or allowing local governments to require reporting of stolen guns, would weed out the straw purchasers who profit from putting guns into dangerous hands.
• Repealing the federal inventory rider would allow ATF to crack down on careless and corrupt gun dealers, and reduce the flow of lost and stolen guns into dangerous hands.