Bloomberg and Cuomo come from the jurisdiction where major gun control legislation was established by New York State Democratic Senator Timothy “Big Tim” Sullivan. Sullivan became known as a Tammany Hall crook intent on protecting his mobsters from prosecution and disarming innocent civilians in New York State.
The Sullivan Act was passed in 1911 after a murder suicide shooting. The law mandated that New York residents must have police issued licenses for concealed handguns, otherwise it would be considered a felony.
In 1903, the Battle of Rivington Street pitted a Jewish gang, the Eastmans, against the Italian Five Pointers. When the cops showed up, the two underworld armies joined forces and blasted away, resulting in three deaths and scores of injuries. Problem was the gangs worked for Tammany. The Tammany Tiger needed to rein in the gangs without completely crippling them. In fact, he gave the game away during the debate on the bill, which flew through Albany: “I want to make it so the young thugs in my district will get three years for carrying dangerous weapons instead of getting a sentence in the electric chair a year from now.”
Sullivan knew the gangs would flout the law, but appearances were more important than results. Ordinary citizens, on the other hand, were disarmed, which solved another problem: Gangsters had been bitterly complaining to Tammany that their victims sometimes shot back at them.
So gang violence didn’t drop under the Sullivan Act–
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