Criminal Justice

Big Apple officials hope new 'gun courts' will reduce firearm violence

Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. a katz /

New York City officials on Tuesday announced new “gun courts” and a dedicated police unit that they hope will reduce firearm violence.

To be launched initially in Brooklyn, which has the highest rate of such crimes, the Project Fast Track courts focused on gun possession cases could later expand to other boroughs if they are successful, according to the New York Times (reg. req.) and Reuters.

The idea is to swiftly resolve gun possession cases—which often involve repeat offenses by the same individuals—before a limited number of judges, the articles explain. Because the cases may not include gun violence, defendants in courts that handle higher-level crimes can escape serious sanctions.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also vowed Tuesday that the city will cooperate closely with federal authorities to focus on illegal firearms sales.

Some 200 detectives will be assigned to the Gun Violence Suppression Division.

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