Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced in City Hall Wednesday that new data shows that 90 percent of guns used to commit crimes in New York City in 2011 came from outside of the state.
The percentage of weapons recovered from out of state was an increase from 2009, when 85 percent of guns used in city crimes came from outside New York State.
The state that was the top source for the illegal guns was Virginia, with 322 guns. Virginia was followed by North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Alabama, Texas and West Virginia.
"What happens in Richmond, what happens in Tallahassee, what happens in Atlanta affects what happens to New Yorkers," said John Feinblatt, the mayor's chief policy adviser. "Their laws affect what happens on our streets every single day."
The New York City Police Department reports that rates of gun violence and murder are lower in the city, but the Bloomberg administration is still very concerned about the prevalence of out-of-state guns used in local crimes.
"To those who say, 'Stay out of our state,' our answer is: We'd love to, just as soon as you stop letting guns seep into the black market, land in the hands of criminals and be used to murder our citizens," Bloomberg said.
"So far this year, 58 percent of the city's murder victims were shot. The next highest percentage, 23 percent, were stabbed. So we remain focused on guns to save lives," Kelly said.
City officials say they are continuing to pressure other states to push for background checks for those who buy guns, a limit on the amount of weapons a person can buy, and better reporting of guns people claim have been stolen or lost.
The police commissioner said there are many NYPD officers carrying out undercover buy-and-bust operations to curb the illegal gun trade.