Former Gov. Spitzer Says City Should Pressure Gun Sellers through Purchasing Power

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eliot Spitzer attends the Huffington Post 2010 'Game Changers' event at Skylight Studio on October 28, 2010 in New York City. (Neilson Barnard/Getty)

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stepped up calls for greater gun control in the wake of the recent massacres in Wisconsin and Colorado, former Governor Eliot Spitzer says the mayor is overlooking a powerful tool at his disposal — the city's buying power.

In an op-ed for the online magazine “Slate,” Spitzer writes that the Defense Department and New York City are among the largest purchasers of guns. If the president and mayor really want change, he said, they could use government's power in the marketplace to force companies who manufacture and sell guns to act responsibly.

"The mayor needs to think about this not just as a matter of regulation and writing laws but, using his consumer power," he told WNYC.

Spitzer says if the president and the mayor truly believe that semi-automatic weapons should not be available to private purchasers or that magazines with more than 10 bullets should not be sold over the counter, they should simply say that, from now on, the federal government and New York City, as a matter of public safety, will not buy any weapons or ammunition from companies that sell those items to private citizens.

The one-time attorney general said the plan is similar to what the federal government did under TARP, where it gave banks bail-out money but required that they stop paying their executives as much.  

Spitzer, who made a name for himself by being tough on Wall Street, also weighed in on the lack of prosecutions of banks implicated in the housing bubble and other recent banking scandals

“I'm absolutely convinced the right theories were not brought to bear, the right investigations were not done, there are many, many cases that should have been brought, I just don't get it," he said.


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Comments [8]

John Balzer

People have a short memory. Eliot Spitzer disgraced New York and should be making his comments from a jail cell. The article should more properly ask why isn't Eliot Spitzer in jail?

Aug. 11 2012 12:15 PM
Robert Reynolds from New York NY

In New York State, the police have no duty to provide police protection to any particular individual. The Courts in New York have held that "generally, a municipality may not be held liable for the failure to provide police protection because the duty to provide such protection is owed to the public at large, rather than to any particular individual" (Conde v. City of New York, 24 AD3d 595, 596 [2005]; see Cuffy v. City of New York, 69 NY2d 255, 260 [1987]).

As the Chair of the Public Safety Committee of Manhattan Community Board 12. I will be holding a Public Hearing in September 2012 on NYS Senate Bill S1427 & S1863 with an emphasis on self-defense education & firearm training for women.

Bill S1427 PURPOSE: This proposed constitutional amendment would provide within the New York State Constitution for a right of the people to keep and bear arms for traditionally recognized purposes

Bill S1863 PURPOSE: This legislation would remove a gun licensing officer's ability to deny or restrict the issuance of licenses to law abiding citizens who have successfully undergone the state's strict application process and appropriate New York State and Federal Bureau of Investigations fingerprint background check required under law. In addition, this bill will conform New York State law to current ATF requirements regarding background checks for firearms transfers.

September 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM at Isabella, 515 Audubon Avenue New York, NY 10040. If you live in New York State feel free to take a look at the information that I will be presenting as well as sign my on-line petition included at the link below. I hope that you will come out and support me as I support you. Fraternally.

Aug. 11 2012 08:32 AM
Shoufeng Yang from Paradise Valley!

If I am Smith-Wesson or Beretta or Federal or Fiocchi, I will be glad to drop the government business and focus only on the civilian market, I will be glad to cede the business to Colt or Winchester, as govenment business is much less profitable and smaller in scale!

Aug. 10 2012 06:17 PM

It is a good idea and, frankly, ANYTHING that works to make guns less available to irresponsible users is far more important to me than Spitzer's history.

Aug. 10 2012 01:06 PM
Josh from Washington Heights

Why all the hate for Spitzer? The man is brilliant and comes up with good ideas and did a lot of good to clean up Wall Street. I don't care what he and Bill Clinton did in their private time. On the scales of public service they both did a lot of good that outweighed their personal issues (and which I simply don't care about).

@Mike from NY: Spitzer's gun idea IS brilliant. If a gun company formed a shell company, it would be easy enough to expose and publicize. The government wouldn't have to do business with any shell companies. Oh, and, boo-hoo that you might have to pay a little more for your guns! That's the dumbest whine I've ever heard on these boards.

Aug. 10 2012 12:09 PM
Cheryl Clarke from Piscataway, N.J.

I wish Soterios Johnson had not addressed Spitzer as "Governor." He hasn't been "Governor" for awhile. Remember he disgraced the office and his family, especially his wife. And what Soterios referred to as a "skull cap" is really called "yarmulke." He ought to know that.

Aug. 10 2012 11:00 AM

Why is anyone listening to what Eliot Spitzer has to say? The guy who performed illegal acts while he was governor, remember?

Aug. 10 2012 10:46 AM
Mike from NY

Smart move ..BRILLIANT !! So , Glock (Colt, S&W , H&K) all take their Police Model Handguns and create new Companies JUST to sell them --and THAT new Co only sells to Law Enforcement. And that added expense is tagged to the price WHICH THE TAXPAYERS ENDS UP PAYING ..Do us a favor Spitzer , get a hobby ..You’ve embarrassed the State enough.

Aug. 10 2012 10:11 AM

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