Eric Adams Meets With President Biden To Discuss Gun Violence

Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for New York City mayor, is scheduled on Monday to visit the White House, where he and other local lawmakers will discuss ways of tackling rising gun violence with President Joe Biden.

A representative for Adams confirmed the 12:45 p.m. meeting, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal and the Uprising. According to the two outlets, Adams, who is currently the Brooklyn borough president, will join a meeting attended by Attorney General Merrick Garland, local lawmakers, law-enforcement officials and a community violence-intervention advocate.

The meeting comes as Adams touts New York City as a potential model for the country on how to address the national crisis of rising shootings. Homicides rose by 30% in 2020 in 34 U.S. cities.

As of July 4th, the NYPD reported 886 shooting victims compared to 667 in the previous year—a jump of more than 32%. On Sunday, a 13-year-old Bronx boy was shot and killed in what police officials said was a gang-related attack.

Both Adams and Biden have opposed dramatically reducing police department budgets.

During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Adams pledged to coordinate with the federal government and state to track the flow of illegal guns, in addition to bringing back a special anti-crime unit that would focus on gangs and guns, and target gun dealers connected with guns used in shootings.

He also reiterated his call for random spot checks at the Port Authority bus terminal, where he said guns have been smuggled in by bus riders.

Although the latest spike in crime has grabbed national attention, Adams criticized lawmakers for ignoring an ongoing problem of violence in inner cities.

“Many of our presidents, they saw these numbers,” he said. “They knew that the inner cities, particularly where Black, brown and poor people lived, they knew they were dealing with this real crisis. And it took this president to state that it is time for us to stop ignoring what is happening in the south sides of Chicago, in the Brownsvilles, in the Atlantas of our country.”

Biden recently announced a plan to let states use some of the $350 billion in federal stimulus money to invest in a range of tactics to battle gun crime. The money can be used for hiring new police officers as well as funding community-based anti-violence groups and providing summer jobs for at-risk youths.

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new state of emergency over the rise in gun violence, including a commitment of nearly $139 million toward prevention and response.

Although New York City’s overwhelmingly Democratic electorate favors Adams as the presumptive next mayor, he still faces a general election in November against Republican Curtis Sliwa.

On Monday, Sliwa, who founded the Guardian Angels, called his own press conference to discuss his own plan to curb gun violence.

Standing in front of his midtown campaign headquarters, Sliwa said he’d felt snubbed that the White House had invited Adams alone, and not also Sliwa, to discuss gun violence.

“I’m the only mayoral candidate who was shot five times with hollow point bullets by members of the Gambino crime family,” Sliwa said, referring to 1992 run in with the mob family, whom he later testified against in federal court. “I should have had a place at the table.”

Gwynne Hogan contributed reporting.