Eric Adams

Eric Adams Said He'd Carry a Gun if Elected NYC Mayor. So, Does He? He Just Got Asked

The Democrat made the comment early in his mayoral campaign -- and on Friday, he was asked whether he was packing at his press conference

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Nearly two full years before he took the oath of office as New York City's 110th mayor, Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, was asked if he'd carry a gun if elected.

The question came fairly early in his campaign, on a podcast near the end of January 2020, and Adams was clear on his answer: "Yes, I will."

He also said at the time that he wouldn't travel with a security detail, because, in his words, "if the city is safe, the mayor shouldn't have a security detail. He should be walking the street by himself." That plan didn't work out. But what about the gun?

Major crimes in New York City have been up considerably in recent weeks, especially when it comes to shootings and gun violence, and Adams has been pressed repeatedly on his plans to protect the five boroughs. But it doesn't appear he's been asked that vital question -- do you carry a gun -- until now.

Asked Friday during a Q&A after a traffic safety event if he was armed, Adams stepped from behind the podium, opened up his jacket to show no holster or weapon and spun all the way around to show he didn't have one on his waist.

He also lifted up his pant legs to show there wasn't a weapon by his ankles -- then sought to clarify the statement he had made in January 2020.

"I said if I received a threat from my intel that states that there's a real threat, that I would make that determination," Adams said. "If I feel the need to do something, I would do something. I don't feel the need to do something right now."

He also said he hasn't carried a gun at all since he's been in office.

The question came as the mayor debuts a series of initiatives to respond to the city's ongoing spike in violent crimes on city streets, in subways and elsewhere as part of an overarching effort to address what he called "quality-of-life" issues.

Last week, after at least two dozen shootings across the five boroughs in a span of 48 hours, the city expanded a newly launched program that dispatches "neighborhood safety teams" to high-crime areas.

The NYPD rolled out five more of those teams to the city's toughest neighborhoods currently seeing an increase in violence, including two precincts in Harlem, and one each in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

"We're going to put violent people away, we're going to remove the guns off our street," Adams said.

The Neighborhood Safety Teams, replacing the NYPD's controversial anti-crime units, were first put on the streets of the Bronx earlier in March. The officers are in full uniform and don't perform random stop-and-frisk, which historically targets Black and Latino communities.

"We're not doing that. We're not going to allow that happen in our city, we're not going to break the law to enforce the law," Adams has said.

The teams executed 31 arrests in their first few days, including 10 for gun possession in nine separate incidents, the NYPD commissioner said.

The NYPD's Neighborhood Safety teams will be heading to five new areas with high crime rates, after a weekend in which nearly 30 people were shot throughout the five boroughs. NBC New York's Ida Siegal reports.

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