Eric Adams Calls for More Handgun Regulation, Warns Focus on Assault Rifles 'Misplaced'

New York City's Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams believes legislation focused on assault riffles is not a solution to rising crime in U.S. cities.

Adams, who won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, joined CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union Sunday morning.

"I believe, for the first time, we are going to see a coordinated effort between the president, the governor, the mayor to go after the flow of guns in our city, which is extremely important," Adams told Tapper.

Tapper spoke with Adams about the former NYPD police chief's belief that most of the inner-city gun violence is not mass shootings using assault weapons, but rather "one-offs" committed with handguns.

The CNN host asked Adams if he thinks the Democratic focus on assault weapons legislation misplaced the priorities needed when addressing gun control and rising crime.

"Yes, I do. I believe those priorities, they really were misplaced," Adams said. "And it's almost insulting what we have witnessed over the last few years."

Adams told Tapper that the issue facing the country has been ongoing and past presidents were aware of the number of assaults, accidents and murders committed as a result of guns in some of the most underserved communities.

"[Former presidents] knew that the inner cities, particularly where black, brown and poor people lived, they knew they were dealing with this real crisis," Adams said. "And it took this president to state that it is time for us to stop ignoring what is happening in the south sides of Chicago. In the Brownsvilles, in the Atlantas of our country."

Eric Adams
Eric Adams called for more handgun regulations on Sunday. Above, the Democratic mayoral nominee for New York City attends a parade on July 7 in NYC. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The mayoral candidate pointed to the handgun as a major contributor to the gun violence in inner cities. The "misplaced" priorities need to be shifted to monitoring handguns, according to Adams.

"It is extremely important that, just as we became energetic after we saw mass shootings with assault rifles in suburban parts of our country, which we should have, we should have also focused on the handgun," he said.

Adams also added that the number of handgun deaths in the country is "astronomical." He believes that the first step towards reducing that number is aligning the legislation at federal, state and local levels.

Tapper, pointing out that a handgun ban is not possible in the U.S., asked Adams how the mayoral candidate plans to translate the issue with handguns into legislation.

"We should not have to ban handguns," Adams replied. "We need to zero in on that handgun, and you will see the decrease in many of these shootings."

Adams said he thinks bag checks should be conducted so that "bags of handguns" are not brought into the city. The candidate also stated that the "real crime" that he wants to address is the educational opportunities that a person was denied before they went and got a gun.

Adams is expected to win the NYC mayoral election in November and take over from Bill de Blasio, who cannot run for a third term due to term limits.

Newsweek reached out to Eric Adams but did not hear back by publication time.