Gun-Controlled NYC Installs Special Mics to Record Ongoing Gun Crime

Investigators work at the scene where two NYPD officers were shot, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police said an armed man walked up to two officers sitting inside the patrol car and opened fire before running into a nearby subway …
AP Photo/John Minchillo

With the myriad of gun restrictions and bans contained in the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 now in effect throughout New York state, it is ironic to see New York City installing special microphones to capture the sounds of gun crime in the city.

After all, the restrictions and bans contained in the SAFE Act include an “assault weapons” ban; a background check requirement for all gun sales–retail and private; and a ban on “high capacity” magazines. These are three of the most popular requirements pushed by control advocates everywhere, yet NYC had to install a system of special microphones to record the continuing sounds of gun crime.

According to Fusion, the special mics are part of a “gunshot detection system” made by ShotSpotter. The system listens and is able to “pinpoint the location of where a gunshot took place.”

Three hundred such mics are now active in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

In August 2013, WNYC did a special report on ShotSpotter systems installed in Newark, New Jersey. They found that the system cost taxpayers about $80,000 a year over a three-year period. They also found that the “detection sensors … went off 3,632 times, and 17 shooters were arrested on scene.”

One of the reasons for the huge discrepancy between alerts and arrests is that “75 percent” of the gunshot alerts were false alarms.

So Newark paid $240,000 to make 17 arrests in three years, and NYC is headed down the same path.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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