The handgun of choice among New York City criminals is a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver, says the New York Daily News. It is a compact but powerful weapon that fires five or six shots and sells for about $500. A long list of guns – dominated by inexpensive 9-mm. and .380-caliber Saturday night specials – was seized from thugs in the city last year, federal statistics show.
Absent was information about where the illegal guns came from, which the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau is barred from disclosing. The National Rifle Association helped draft legislation barring release of the information. While the number of guns seized in the city has plummeted from the 19,000 taken off the streets in 1990, hundreds of inexpensive weapons churned out by companies like Hi-Point, Raven, and Bryco still end up in the city.