Hochul prohibits National Guard troops deployed to NYC subway bag checkpoints from carrying ‘long guns’

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has prohibited the use of long guns by National Guardsmen who were deployed to inspect bags at subway stations in the Big Apple. Despite facing criticism for the decision to deploy the National Guard, Hochul remains steadfast in her defense of the controversial move.

According to a spokesperson, Hochul wasted no time in implementing the ban on military-grade rifles. The decision came shortly after 750 troops were deployed to the subway system.

Last week, as the deployment commenced, commuters entering the subway were met with a sight that brought back memories of the city in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks: soldiers armed with guns stationed at bag-search checkpoints, dressed in camouflage.

Complaints arose following the decision, with state leaders expressing concerns about the militarization of the subway system. NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell went on to accuse Hochul of treating the subways as if they were a “war zone.”

Former Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik expressed his strong opinion on the matter, urging for an end to the spectacle. In a post on X, he emphasized that the NYPD is well-equipped to handle their responsibilities and should be allowed to carry out their duties without unnecessary interference.

A 14-year-old teenager fell from a New York City train while attempting the dangerous trend of subway surfing, according to the police. This incident highlights yet another injury resulting from the popular social media craze.

Under Hochul’s new directive, certain guardsmen will still have assault weapons at specific locations within the subway. However, they will not carry these weapons at the actual bag checkpoints.

Commuters expressed their support on Sunday afternoon for the presence of the National Guard, agreeing with Hochul’s decision not to bring assault rifles along.

“I don’t see the need for guns. In my opinion, it’s nothing more than a show. They don’t actually plan on using them. It’s all about fear, and it’s completely excessive and unnecessary.”

Brooklyn teacher Jazmine Diggs, 26, expressed her approval of Hochul’s decision, stating that it made her feel safer. However, she questioned the necessity of firearms in this context.

Diggs expressed his concern about the possibility of someone grabbing the item from them and initiating a shooting spree.

Hochul stands by decision to deploy National Guard in NYC subways despite criticism likening it to a “war zone”

Daniella Pavon, a 28-year-old individual, expressed her concerns about the use of such a weapon in a crowded space. She acknowledged the presence of the National Guard and appreciated the sense of security it provided, stating that she felt more protected in case of any unforeseen incidents.

On Wednesday, troops made their first appearance in the subways to conduct random bag checks. This was a significant display of force, aimed at tackling the ongoing issue of crime in the subway system. Governor Hochul emphasized that this measure will contribute to resolving the “crisis” of subway crime.

Governor Hochul firmly stated that the audacious and malicious attacks on our subway system will not be tolerated.

The governor emphasized that individuals should not have to be concerned about someone carrying a dangerous weapon while commuting to work, visiting loved ones, or going to a medical appointment.

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Hochul responded to critics by asserting that the average commuter experiences significant levels of “anxiety” while using the system. She also emphasized that the National Guard will assist in “supplementing” the NYPD’s endeavors to ensure subway safety.

During a recent interview on WBLS 107.5 FM, the governor expressed the importance of having a physical presence that provides a sense of safety and security. He emphasized that being able to see someone who can protect you if needed helps to alleviate anxiety and provides reassurance that help is readily available.

“We experienced a sudden surge in criminal activities, particularly high-profile and alarming incidents,” she explained. “It made everyone think, ‘That could have easily been me.’ As a result, people might be discouraged from using the trains and subway, which is the exact opposite of what we want. Our goal is to ensure that people feel safe and are safe.”

Subway crime experienced a significant increase of 45% in January when compared to the previous year. However, there was a notable decline of 15% in February, which Mayor Eric Adams attributed to the implementation of new NYPD patrols on the subway.

According to statistics from the NYPD, crime on the subway has seen an overall increase of 13% this year.

Hochul has deployed the National Guard as part of her comprehensive five-point plan to enhance subway safety. The plan includes the following measures:

    • Influx of 1,000 National Guardsmen, state and MTA cops.
    • Law to allow judges to ban transit assault perps from trains, buses.
    • Installation of CCTV cameras in all train cars, conductor cabins.
    • Better coordination between NYPD and district attorneys to thwart recidivists.
    • $20 million to expand Subway Co-Response Outreach mental health teams.

Additional reporting has been done by Vaughn Golden and Carl Campanile.

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