Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams Holds Public Hearing on Opioid Overdose Nightlife Prevention Bill Intro
September 30, 2022
Mayor Eric Adams: Good afternoon, New York City. Today, I hold hearings for three bills that help prevent opioid overdoses in nightlife venues, that would help reduce the flow of illegal firearms into New York City, and that designate Times Square as a zone where it is unlawful to carry firearms. Three important bills that are addressing real issues and crises that are unfolding in our city. The opioid crisis has been inflicting pain and heartache on New York City for far too long. We have lost too many New Yorkers to overdose. Too many families and communities have been torn apart, and COVID-19 has only made it worse.
While we are the first in the nation to open overdose prevention centers, they have been successful averting over 480 overdoses since opening. We can, and must do more to tackle this public health crisis. That is what we’re doing today with Intro 56-A. This bill is how we save lives. Intro 56-A requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to create a Nightlife Opioid Antagonist Program to help prevent opioid overdoses in nightlife establishments. The program will permit nightlife establishments in the city to request and retain up to five opioid antagonist kits, five at a time, free of charge, to keep on premises. This is going to help those who are in need of this usage.
New York City is not just a place that’s tackling opioid cases. We are working hard to end gun violence and stop the scourge of illegal guns in our city. Gun violence is a national nightmare haunting America every day. It isn’t just a big city problem or small city problem, it is an American problem. Illegal guns are feeding the river of violence, something that I talk about all the time. We have to dam every river. Here in New York, we’re going to do just that, dam every river. Today, we continue the fight against the flow of illegal guns onto our streets.
Intro 518-A requires the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, MOCJ, to coordinate with the New York City Police Department to conduct a study on reducing the flow of firearms into the city. It should report December 1st, 2022, and annually on the trafficking of illegal firearms into New York City. We cannot fix what we don’t continue to identify and report in a real way. Finally, we turn to Intro 602-A. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court overturned New York’s long standing gun license requirements, taking aim at the safety of New Yorkers. The decision came down less than six weeks after 10 New Yorkers were shot and killed inside a Buffalo supermarket.
Here in New York, a place known with freedom, openness, and diversity, we will defend ourselves against these threats to our safety. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the state lawmakers, new restrictions on carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive locations are now in place. Today, we are enshrining those restrictions into city law, protecting New Yorkers, tourists, and all who visit our city. The safety and security of 8.8 million people is my primary responsibility. In working with the City Council, we have continued to make it New York’s number one priority, and I cannot thank them enough.
Millions of New Yorkers and tourists flock to Times Square to see Broadway shows, enjoy a good meal, and take photos of the neon billboards, and all the excitement that Times Square brings. So Intro 602-A amends the administrative code of the City of New York to identify Times Square as a sensitive location zone where it is unlawful to carry firearms. Licensed gun carriers, others may not enter sensitive location zones with a gun unless otherwise specifically authorized by law.
I want to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams, Council Member Ossé, and Council Member Abreu for allowing and partnering with us to get these bills done, save lives through the opioid crisis and gun violence. At this time, I want to invite the public to comment on these three bills.
Towaki Komatsu: Hi Mr Adams. My name is Towaki Komatsu. We previously met a couple of times. I mainly just have an objection to one of the bills that’s on the agenda for discussion today. The one that would basically assign responsibility to the NYPD and MOCJ, that you just talked about. My objections to that, there’s currently litigation against members of the NYPD for, essentially, terrorism in New York City throughout 2020. The point is, if you have members of the NYPD in an SUV, for example, driving into a crowd in Brooklyn, can you identify which members of the NYPD are going to be assigned to the team? Setting up the rules regulations to find out, do they have an active lawsuit against them? Do they have CCRB complaints against them?
For example, there’s a federal court decision of Piesco versus the City of New York. It basically talks about how the competency of members of the NYPD is of public concern. So the question is, if you as a mayor, as a manager of a team, an administration, are basically giving the responsibility to people dressed in law enforcement costumes to make law enforcement decisions, when they’re actually violating the (inaudible) law on the side, I don’t think that’s a very rational decision. Something that I have to support that remark, I have federal court litigation. I received something from the US Supreme Court yesterday. So the question is, you can make your decision and then somebody like me can have the US Supreme Court overrule that. Have a good day.
Major Adams: Anytime we make an assignment of a police officer, we take in account his or her record to make sure the right person is assigned. We’re going to ensure our disciplinary process is in place for anyone that violates any rules of the NYPD. Any other questions? Thank you.