Eric Adams, the president of New York City's Brooklyn borough, says that off-duty officers should carry their firearms wherever they go, even if that means into worship services.
In addition to being president of the borough, Adams is a 22-year veteran and retired captain at the NYPD — and a Democrat.
What did he say?
During a Sunday news conference outside a Jewish family services center in the Midwood neighborhood, which holds one of New York City's highest concentrations of Orthodox Jews, Adams said that it's important to protect one another in the wake of the Pittsburgh mass killing, the New York Times reported,
A mass murderer opened fire on congregants on Saturday at The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and injuring several more. Authorities filed multiple charges, including hate crime charges, against the suspect.
"I used to carry my gun all the time when I went to church," Adams said during the news conference. "If we have police officers standing in front of churches, they can't say it's wrong for a police officer who's off-duty to be inside churches with a gun. If they're leaving those firearms at home, I now say to them: Stop leaving your firearm home. Do as I do. Bring your firearm to church.
"From now on," Adams added, "I will bring my handgun every time I enter a church or synagogue."
Adams said that while the situation isn't ideal, it's logical.
“We have to live in the real universe that we’re in,” Adams explained. “It’s not popular, but it’s right.”
According to the Times, the department already instructs officers to carry weapons when off-duty. Retired officers are also permitted to carry concealed weapons so long as they pass a marksmanship test.
However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio begs to differ.
The mayor delivered remarks about Pittsburgh's deadly massacre on Sunday afternoon at an interfaith gathering at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.
"Houses of worship do not have to have armed guards to be able to practice their religions," de Blasio said. "That’s not America."