Phoenix - Arizona AG: Bloomberg's Gun Show Sting Just A Public Relations Stunt
Phoenix, AZ - Attorney General Tom Horne says New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg overstepped his power in authorizing investigators to run an undercover sting operation at a Phoenix gun show.
Horne said Tuesday the sting was a public relations stunt.
During the sting, investigators hired by New York City bought semiautomatic pistols after they said they probably couldn’t pass a background check.
Horne said, “Local law enforcement and the Arizona Department of Public Safety were never notified that Mayor Bloomberg’s operation was being undertaken. That is standard professional courtesy and is also designed to protect the general public.”
“Arizona law enforcement should have been made aware that people posing as criminal elements were in fact undercover officers. The fact that no such notification was made indicates this so-called sting is nothing less than a public relations stunt,” Horne said.
He added, “I would suggest that Mayor Bloomberg consider the skyrocketing crime rate in New York City before he asks any more of his city’s police to leave town on these PR missions. According to the most recent FBI statistics, violent crime in New York City increased significantly in 2010 compared to data from 2009. Robbery went up 3.9 percent, forcible rape rose 13.9 percent, aggravated assault increased 8.8 percent and murder rose 12.3 percent. Clearly, the good men and women of the New York City Police Department have more pressing crimes to investigate than alleged violations at a gun show 2,400 miles away.”
Bloomberg spokesman Jason Post disputes Horne’s characterization of New York City’s crime and says the sting was carried out by Arizona-based private investigators, not city police.
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