Biden gun crime prevention plan won't work, 'refund the police': Ex-NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly

Biden administration announces strategy to prevent and respond to gun crime

Former New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly slammed the Biden administration’s plan to combat a nationwide surge in violent crime, claiming it won’t address the core problem.

Kelly told FOX BusinessMaria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" Friday that guns are not the reason for a spike in crime, but rather the perpetrators.

"It's people, the people who were shooting the guns," Kelly explained. "We have perhaps as many as 500 million guns in this country, so any tightening up on that universe of guns is not going to make much difference at all."


The White House released a comprehensive strategy this week aiming to implement preventative measures against "the flow of firearms used to commit crimes," and insisted curbing gun violence is key to tamping down the surge in crime across the U.S.

In a press conference Wednesday, Biden clarified that the prevention plan includes strengthening background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and boosting community policing.

But Kelly countered: "You've got to focus on the people who are pulling the trigger of those guns… [The plan] doesn't do anything to quell the chaos that we have on the streets of our major cities."


Violent crime rates skyrocketed across the nation in 2020, with no signs of slowing in 2021. 

Late last month, the National Fraternal Order of Police posted a graphic on social media showing big increases in the homicide rate in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.

The numbers in it were alarming: Homicides in Chicago, up by 22% through late May compared with the same period last year. In Minneapolis, homicides were up by 56%; in Portland, 800%.

Kelly believes that refunding police departments is the best solution to decreasing violent crime. 

"You have to refund the police," Kelly argued. "The plain-clothes units that focus on getting guns off the streets have to be reinstituted… We had programs in the past, Operation Impact, where you take young police officers and put them in concentrated form in the most difficult neighborhoods of the city. Something like that must be done."

Major cities are making an effort to repair depleted police forces after the movement to "defund" police saw cities slash budgets and cut funding and crime rates accelerated. 

Cities like New York City, Oakland, Baltimore, Minneapolis and Los Angeles are planning to reinstate tens of millions for the construction of new police precincts, increase police department budgets, among other plans to bankroll more efforts to confront the uptick in crime. 

Overall, in several of the nation's largest local law-enforcement agencies, city and county leaders want funding increases for 9 of the 12 departments where next year’s budgets have already been proposed, with increases ranging from 1% to 6%, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Kelly also noted that a negative police culture and poor policies also contribute to rising crime.

"Police officers have been demonized, they've been villainized," he said. "They're not engaging with the public as they did just a couple of years ago. The reason being is that they're afraid to lose their job if they do their job."

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips, FOX Business' Sumner Park and The Associated Press contributed to this report.