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NYC Mayor Unveils Gun Scanners in Subway Amid Violent Crime Surge

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Matthew Xiao

New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) on Thursday announced the city will start using gun scanners in its subway stations amid a surge in violent crime in recent months.

Adams unveiled a freestanding gun scanner at Manhattan’s Fulton Transit Center on Thursday. “This is our Sputnik moment. Like when Kennedy said we’re going to put a man on the moon … let’s bring on the scanners,” the mayor said, adding that the weapon detection system would not record any commuter’s face or identification.

Adams noted the new technology would allow NYPD officers to monitor on a screen as commuters walk through the scanners. A weapon’s location would show up as orange on the screen, enabling officers to conduct an immediate search.

The gun detectors, however, will not be put into use until late June due to the city’s Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act passed in 2020, which requires the NYPD to wait at least 90 days before rolling out a surveillance system at a new location. The same scanners have already been installed at some venues in the Big Apple, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, CitiField stadium, and One Vanderbilt.

Adams’s announcement came after he dispatched 1,000 officers in February to the city’s underground transit system in response to a surge in homicides, felony assaults, and grand larcenies. Earlier this month, New York governor Kathy Hochul (D.) deployed 1,000 troops and police officers, including 750 National Guard members, to patrol and “conduct bag checks in the city’s busiest stations.”

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