Councilman wants to make gun offender database public
Councilman Costa Constantinides wants the NYPD to make its gun offender database public to all New Yorkers.
The Queens Democrat plans to introduce a bill Thursday modeled after the state’s sex offender registry, which provides information to the public about anyone convicted of a sex crime, including details about where they live.
Constantinides said he wants the police department to make its data base public and searchable and provide information to residents in an effort to enhance public safety.
“This is something that exists already and we are making it public, this bill is for public safety and will give law enforcement and community additional eyes on the street,” Constantinides told Capital.
A hearing on the bill, which has three sponsors so far, is expected in the coming weeks.
If approved, the database would also send email alerts to residents when someone who has been convicted of a gun charge moves into their neighborhood.
“It would tell you the crime they were convicted of and a general description,” Constantinides said. “People in our communities have a right to know if a person who committed a violent crime with a gun has moved in.”
A similar program was approved in Chicago last year.
Constantinides said there is also a “rehabilitation component” to the bill, which would allow an offender to have his or her named removed from the database if they maintain a clean record for at least four years.
“We are not saying that these individuals have to stay on this registry forever. If you’re a good actor, if you’ve turned your life around and after four years [you’ve] had no arrests and no issues you’re able to be expunged from this list,” he said.
A spokesperson for the NYPD did not return a request for comment.
Constantinides will formally introduce the measure at the council’s stated meeting, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.