Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
“Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, New York is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands,” Cuomo said.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Exasperated over repeated congressional inaction, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo recently announced the formation of the new “States for Gun Safety” coalition to combat gun violence.
According to Cuomo, the group will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to better share information and tackle the issue through a regional approach. The coalition has pledged to create a multi-state database to supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, trace and intercept guns that are used in crimes as well as guns transported across state borders, and launch the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium that will study the issue across multiple disciplines to better inform policy makers nationwide.
According to the coalition, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island – and Massachusetts, Delaware, and Puerto Rico, which joined on Monday – will share information about individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm within each state. By sharing this information, the group noted, states can more effectively prevent certain individuals from purchasing a gun, obtaining a weapon and/or getting a gun permit. The agreement, in accordance with federal and state privacy protections, will provide state law enforcement agencies with details on the firearm purchase or permit denials for those who are disqualified. People may be disqualified from owning a firearm for several reasons, including an arrest warrant, order of protection, debilitating mental health condition, or criminal history.
The coalition also noted that the inaugural Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium will be comprised of public health, social welfare, public policy, and criminal justice experts who will share and examine data to better inform policymakers nationwide. The consortium will be created by colleges and universities designated by each member state of the coalition.
“Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, New York is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands,” Cuomo said. “Not only will this groundbreaking partnership take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines, but by forming the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, we will be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe.”
Cuomo, a proud gun owner, also recently found himself in the crosshairs of National Rifle Association Executive Director and CEO Wayne LaPierre, who blasted the Empire State governor and fellow Democrats in remarks at Thursday’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.
“They are not Democrats in the mold of John F. Kennedy or Tip O’Neill,” LaPierre said. “They hide behind labels like ‘Democrat,’ ‘left-wing’ and ‘progressive’ to make their socialist agenda more palatable, and that is terrifying. And that should terrify every citizen who values the American ideal in this country of individual liberty.”
Cuomo returned fire in a matter of hours.
“If Wayne LaPierre is attacking you, you know you’re doing something right,” he said. “I am proud of my F rating from the NRA.”