The shot from a .380 Bryco was fired in Queens, but New York City officials say the trigger might as well have been pulled in Georgia, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. New York officials say a Georgia business called Adventure Outdoors shares responsibility for the Bryco – a relatively inexpensive gun that some consider a “Saturday-night special” – being used in a 2001 street crime, along with the man who fired the four shots. In a lawsuit, New York City says that Adventure Outdoors was the original source of at least 21 handguns, including the Bryco, recovered at New York crime scenes between 1994 and 2001. “What is Adventure Outdoors supposed to do?” asked the gun shop’s attorney, John Renzulli.
New York sued gun dealers in Georgia and in four other states, alleging they are sources for weapons that flow from jurisdictions with only the minimum of restrictions on gun sales to states where buying a gun is much more difficult. Georgia tops the list of states that are the sources of guns used in crimes in other states. Many were bought in a “straw purchase,” defined as someone legally allowed to buy a handgun who gets it for someone who is not. Federal databases say 9,500 guns originally sold by Georgia dealers were recovered at crime scenes in 2006. Georgia leads the pack, some say, because it follows only the federal minimum restrictions on handgun purchases for all states: Handguns can’t be sold to people with criminal histories, dishonorable military discharges, restraining orders for stalking, or involuntary commitments for mental illness. Other states tack on additional restrictions. Says Daniel Vice of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: “The reason gun traffickers go to Georgia to get guns is because it’s easy.” John Feinblatt, criminal justice coordinator for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said 85 percent of the guns New York police seize came from out of state.