A New York lawmaker called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday to send more agents to Long Island to combat illicit firearm trafficking in Nassau County.
In a letter to ATF Director Steven Dettelbach, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito argued that “skyrocketing crime” on Long Island has overwhelmed local law enforcement agencies and left them unable to focus on investigating the source of illegal guns flooding New York’s 4th Congressional District.
“Just last year, two individuals from Georgia were arrested for trafficking over twenty-five guns into Nassau County, eleven of which were found at the scene of crimes,” D’Esposito notes in his letter. “This is unacceptable. Gun trafficking into Long Island is detrimental to our communities and we must do everything in our power to ensure that local law enforcement agencies are empowered with the resources and tools they need to keep our communities safe.”
Police in Nassau County seized some 278 illegal firearms last year, up from at least 195 in 2021 and 183 in 2020.
D’Esposito, a former NYPD detective, believes increased cooperation between the ATF and Nassau County cops – including having more federal agents in Nassau – can help stem the flow of guns coming into Long Island.
“It is my understanding that there is a significant disparity between the number of ATF officers on Long Island and those in New York City. I am asking that you enhance your collaboration with local law enforcement agencies to assist with investigations and combat gun trafficking,” D’Esposito writes.
The House of Representatives approved D’Esposito’s pro-law enforcement resolution condemning calls to “defund the police” last week in a 268-156 vote that saw 62 Democrats support the New York pol’s measure.
The resolution also codified a federal “bill of rights” for police officers also proposed by D’Esposito.
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