GUN VIOLENCE

Gun violence poses an unacceptable threat to public health and safety. As a former federal prosecutor, Tali took on gun violence, including murders, and understands the district attorney must have a fearless, diverse and complex plan to stop this ongoing threat.

To help execute this plan, Tali will appoint a Gun Violence Coordinator on her Executive Leadership Team, to work across divisions and bureaus directing and monitoring firearms-related investigation, prosecutions, and initiatives.

As Manhattan district attorney, Tali will implement the following 10-point plan: 

POINT 1: Prioritize gun trafficking investigations and prosecutions by:

  • Increasing the investigative capacity of DANY’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit—the specialized division responsible for prosecuting gun trafficking cases, and which will work with the Gun Violence Coordinator.
  • Ensuring unit ADAs get the training and resources required to lead complex, multi-agency, and interstate trafficking investigations. 
  • Building out trafficking cases through partnerships with state prosecutors, the NYPD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and regional law enforcement agencies.
  • Supporting increased enforcement at the Port Authority bus terminal—a common point of entry for traffickers. 
  • Identifying and prosecuting non-compliant online firearm sellers.
  • Participating in federal, state, and local efforts to build out gun trace databases and gun tracing capacities. 
  • Support local and national legislative efforts to further prohibit ghost guns.

POINT 2: Implement a “ghost gun” initiative that:

  • Prioritizes enforcement of the new ghost gun laws.
  • Coordinates with other NYC district attorneys, city agencies and the NYPD to develop best practices. 
  • Recognizes a national lack of data on untraceable firearms by requiring tracking and reporting of annual ghost gun prosecutions.  

POINT 3: Accelerate gun prosecutions by:

  • Working with the city and courts to open a Gun Court, a dedicated courtroom for Manhattan gun prosecutions, allowing for critically important speed in case resolution. Ideally, cases will be closed within six months.
  • Instructing the Gun Unit and Gun Violence Coordinator to collaborate with the NYPD and other law enforcement officials to track gun violence patterns, and proactively identify key perpetrators and potential retaliations. 
  • Advocating for improving the speed and efficiency of forensic evidence gathering, including DNA and latent fingerprint testing.

POINT 4: Inaugurate a specialized Domestic Violence team, which will:

  • Focus on responding to high-risk cases within a new Bureau of Gender-Based Violence.
  • Encourage robust enforcement of New York criminal law requiring domestic abusers subject to a temporary order of protection to surrender their firearms.
  • Hire a dedicated investigator focused on ensuring individuals charged with a DV offense have surrendered all guns.

POINT 5: Develop a diversion program for young people facing gun possession charges.

  • Modeled after two such programs in Brooklyn, the Manhattan initiative will be open to young people who meet various criteria and have no history  of violence.
  • The rigorous program will include mentorship, counseling, education or employment, and community service. Successful completion will result in dismissal of criminal charges—and a second chance. 
  • Incorporate anti-gun and anti-violence education into other youth diversion programs supported by the DA’s office.

POINT 6: Initiate a Juvenile Prosecution Unit, which will:

  • Develop policies that embrace the spirit of Raise the Age and favor removal to Family Court. 
  • Handle all juvenile gun cases that remain in criminal court. 
  • Include supervisors working with local public schools to develop anti-violence educational programming, run relevant training workshops, and participate in career fairs and other school events. 

POINT 7: Expand Violence Interruption Programs.

  • Use asset forfeiture funds to support and advocate for local violence interruption organizations.
  • Work with the city and existing organizations to expand violence interruption programming to hospitals located in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence. 
  • Audit DANY-supported and led prevention and education programs across the borough, in order to better direct institutional resources. 

POINT 8: Provide direct support for communities impacted by gun violence by:

  • Working with communities in public housing to learn how DANY can better support them and address their specific vulnerabilities to gun violence.
  • Providing funding for, and encouraging ADA participation in, local greening initiatives. 
  • Expanding DANY’s existing Gun Violence Prevention Fellowship.
  • Launch a summer employment program for high school students from high-violence neighborhoods.

POINT 9: Enforce New York’s Red Flag Law.

  • Train ADAs to identify cases in which an Extreme Risk Protection Order (“ERPO”) may be appropriate and to file applications as appropriate. 
  • Work, through a new position of Title IX Liaison, to ensure both public school and higher education officials are aware of the Red Flag Law and educated about the ERPO application process. 

POINT 10: Institute gun buyback programs which:

  • Design and publicize efforts in partnership with local community groups that have legitimacy in the neighborhoods most affected by gun violence. 
  • Designate places of worship, community centers, and non-profit buildings — rather than government offices — as drop off locations.
  • Limit financial incentives to guns that are most often illegally trafficked.
  • Require participants provide proof of New York residency to ensure New Yorkers, not out-of-state gun dealers, benefit from buybacks. Participant information will not be recorded or retained.