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Destiny USA incident highlights problem of guns on Syracuse streets

Ellen Abbott

A gunshot at a busy mall in Syracuse in February reflects a growing reality in central New York: there are more guns on the street than ever before.

Mayor Ben Walsh says the Syracuse Police Department has confiscated 84% more guns in the first two months of 2023 than the same time a year before. All of them were bought in another state.

"There are more guns in Syracuse today than there were this time last year," Walsh said. "That’s a direct result of other states and other parts of the county having lax gun laws that allow people to traffic guns into our community which we see surface in neighborhoods and places of business, including the mall. That is a significant contributing factor"

Walsh said state and federal governments need to step up on this issue.

"I see that effort coming out of Governor Hochul and many of our state leaders," Walsh said. "I don’t see that same commitment from the federal government."

Walsh is especially concerned about youth, many of whom live in chaotic situations, and who haven’t learned how to resolve disputes, but see it done on the street with a gun.

"The reality is for those 12, 13, 14-year-old kids in the City of Syracuse that are in that situation, it is easier than it ever has been before for them to get their hands on a gun," Walsh said. "That’s a problem."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.