RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says Thursday's shootout in Times Square is proof that there are just too many guns. A plainclothes sergeant killed Raymond Martinez, 25, after trading gunfire in an area crowded with tourists and holiday shoppers. Investigators are trying to determine whether Martinez was selling illegal weapons before he was shot.
Bloomberg is making a lesson out of Thursday's shooting. An advocate for stiff gun laws, Bloomberg's taking his fight outside of Big Apple by coming to states like Virginia to encourage state legislatures to beef up their gun laws, in an effort to keep illegal guns out of New York.
A call to New York City leads to the Richmond Police Department where investigators are now looking into claims that he used a gun reported stolen October 28th.
It's believed that a MAC-10 was stolen out of a parked vehicle, though Richmond police are deferring the case to federal agents.
"This doesn't open a discussion to anything. It was a stolen gun. How much stronger laws do you need. I mean if somebody steals a gun how are you going to stop them from doing that?" said Philip Van Cleave, Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Philip Van Cleave says until it's proven that Martinez was selling guns illegally or purchased the stolen gun from a dealer, stiffer gun laws in the Commonwealth wouldn't help.
"This is more politics than it is anything and Bloomberg is famous for politics," he said.
The Virginia Center for Public Safety says stiffer gun laws would help. If all guns were required to be registered, police could've tracked this stolen gun sooner.
Friday, both sides are waiting for more information about the Bronx resident now at the center of the gun law debate.
At the time of the shooting, Martinez had on him business cards for a gun dealer in our area. That gun dealer says he doesn't know Martinez and does not sell MAC-10's. Police have not released any information linking any gun dealer to Thursday's crime.