NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is all in favor of an "assault weapon" ban even though they aren't the problem facing New York City:
While assault rifles serve no legitimate hunting purpose, and their ban would be a welcome advance after the Newtown slaughter, illegal handguns remain the weapon of choice for killers and other criminals in New York City.
Ninety percent, or 2,493, of the 2,779 illegal firearms seized from suspects in arrests in the city last year were handguns.
By contrast, a total of 77 assault weapons were seized in arrests in the city, less than 3 percent of the total.
In only three of nearly 1,400 shooting incidents last year were ballistics associated with assault weapons.
Kelly favors an expansion of background checks, although he misstates an old survey here:
It’s estimated that as much as 40 percent of guns are sold through the so-called gun-show loophole. A national requirement for universal background checks, regardless of how or where the gun is sold, would help with that problem.
Well, it's estimated that up to 40 percent of transfers, including gifts and inheritances as well as some gun show sales, aren't covered by the current background check law.
This related story includes an unexpected interlude with common sense:
“Kelly is obviously right” about the background checks, said Matt Bennett, a spokesman for the Third Way, a centrist advocacy group that includes the Americans for Gun Safety coalition.
“We support an assault-weapons ban. There is no reason anyone should have these military-style weapons,” he said. “On the other hand, if you had to make a priority list, that is low on priority list.
“On the top of our list is universal background checks.”