In New York City, 2006 might have been called the year of the gun, says Newsday. The year started with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during his Jan. 1 inauguration, launching a crusade to crack down on illegal gun sales – and the New York Police Department, in turn, stepping up efforts to curb gun crimes, with gun arrests up 14 percent. The mayor’s campaign has resulted in lawsuits against more than 20 out-of-town gun shops that allegedly sold weapons traced to crimes in the city.
New legislation also has toughened sentences for those caught selling guns, the weapons used in more than 60 percent of the city’s murders last year. Still, the number of shootings rose during 2006, up for a second straight year. And in a city where overall major crime continued its downward trend – by 4.57 percent last year – homicides rose nearly 10 percent.