New York City has reached agreements with six out-of-state gun dealers to let court officials monitor their operations to prevent illegal gun sales,, reports the New York Times. The city has sued 12 more gun stores to demand similar oversight. The expansion of the legal attack from 15 to 27 gun dealers, in Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia, reflects the city's confidence that its novel approach to battling illegal gun traffic is gaining momentum.
The agreements let a court-appointed special master scour the stores’ financial records, put up video cameras, and require that employees take part in training sessions on when gun sales are prohibited. The city may send undercover investigators into the six stores at any time, to make sure that all relevant gun laws are being followed. The suits resulted from a two-month effort in April and May in which private investigators posed as buyers at 40 stores that had sold guns linked with more than 800 crimes in New York City between 1994 and 2001. Dealers who settled admitted no wrongdoing. The agreements expire after three years without a reported violation. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's antigun efforts have had only limited success overall. No other city has yet filed cases like New York's, although Philadelphia is considering it. An effort to change the gun laws in Congress hit Republican opposition.