NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Calls for Stricter Gun Control Laws In 'Hannity' Appearance

New York Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio did a one-on-one interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night. When pressed about gun control, de Blasio was reluctant to say if he believed if someone who passed a background check should legally be able to own a gun.

Mayor de Blasio said he governs the "safest big city in America" with the "finest police force in America." He said crime has gone down the previous six years.

Hannity asked the mayor if someone who had no criminal background—or any other characteristics that would throw up a flag during a background check—should be denied the right to own a gun to defend themselves. The mayor seemed to dance around the question.

"I believe right now what's wrong in this country is not that people have rights around guns, it's there are no gun safety measures like background checks," de Blasio said. "All the guns that are out there, that are threatening our officers and our civilians alike ... I believe people have rights, I believe in gun safety laws."

Hannity said that he himself has to go through background checks to own guns, and kept pushing the mayor to see if the laws would be become even tougher.

"We have a police department," de Blasio said, "that is making it safer all the time. That's the best way to protect people. Everyone deserves to be safe. The answer is not for everyone to have a firearm—any more than the answer is not for every teacher to have a firearm."

Hannity kept trying to get de Blasio to answer whether or not law-abiding citizens should have access to guns for protection—similar to politicians and celebrities having armed guards for protection—in which the governor never gave a yes or no answer. Instead, he said the NYPD was sufficient.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to the media following news that a judge has recommended that Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer at the center of Eric Garner's July 2014 death case, should be fired from the police department on August 02, 2019 in New York City. It will now be up to the city's police commissioner whether Pantaleo will keep his job. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Hannity, a New York resident who grew up in the city, replied "I ain't buying what you're selling."

Mayor de Blasio spent 65 minutes during a pre-recorded interview, and it encompassed the entire hour-long segment of Hannity's show Wednesday. The episode had no opening statement or other guests.

The two sparred over abortion rights, de Blasio's proposal to hike income taxes, immigration, President Donald Trump's proposed barrier along the U.S. southern border, and the treatment of NYPD officers by New York residents.

At one point when talking about abortion rights—when de Blasio said he would follow the Roe v. Wade ruling and that he respected "the choice of women and their doctor"—he said of Hannity, "your job is to make this a cartoon," and called the abortion issue a "smoke screen."

Hannity appeared peeved at times, at one point saying, "If you become president, we're screwed."