New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is using city resources to strengthen gun laws in a state that has not contributed to the influx of illegal guns into the city.
City employee Christopher Kocher was sent to Nevada to lobby for a bill that focused solely on state background checks within the state of Nevada, according to a New York Post report:
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City employee Christopher Kocher was sent to Nevada as a representative of Mayors Against Illegal Guns to lobby for a bill that enforces background checks on all firearm sales in that state.
But Kocher, who works as a special counsel to the mayor’s office, apparently didn’t want his role to be known and scrubbed his City Hall e-mail address from the state of Nevada lobbying-registration Web site early this month.
City Hall officials are arguing that the trip was entirely appropriate despite Kocher’s attempts to hide the city’s involvement because the laws would make New York a safer place.
"The mayor’s top priority is keeping New Yorkers safe, and that includes seeking sane gun laws in other states . . . to help reduce the flow of illegal guns to New York," said City Hall spokesman John McCarthy.
According to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not a single illegal firearm seized by city law enforcement was originally purchased in the state of Nevada.
The overwhelming majority of guns flowing into New York come from nearby east coast states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia, not from Nevada, which is more than 2,500 miles away.
Bloomberg has used city resources to support his group Mayors Against Illegal Guns for years.
The group’s website was registered by the New York City Department of Information and Technology and has remained on the city’s web servers since 2006.
New York political insiders told the Post that they are confused why Bloomberg, who has an estimated net worth of $27 billion, would use city resources for his pet projects when he could easily handle the cost himself.
"With Bloomberg, one of his strengths is that, because money is no object, he could just go rent office space," a city lobbyist said. "It seems like they’re being sloppy."