Jul 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Gov. Cuomo declares gun violence in New York a "disaster emergency"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo .
Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) issued an executive order Tuesday declaring gun violence a disaster emergency as part of a new strategy to curb gun-related crime in New York.

Why it matters: The strategy, which treats gun violence as a public health crisis, will allow the state to expedite money and resources to communities and implement short- and long-term solutions to confront the issue, Cuomo's office said.

Details: The executive order also requires police departments to share incident-level data on gun violence, with the data being used to track emerging "gun violence hotspots."

  • Cuomo also announced the creation of a new police gun-trafficking unit to address the surge of "illegal guns that come into New York from states with weak gun safety laws."
  • About "74% of crime guns used in criminal activity across the state were purchased out of state," Cuomo's office said.

What he's saying: "We're building New York back better than ever before, but part of rebuilding is addressing the systemic injustices that were exposed by COVID," Cuomo said in the announcement.

  • "If you look at the recent numbers, more people are now dying from gun violence and crime than COVID — this is a national problem, but someone has to step up and address this problem because our future depends on it," he added.

The big picture: Cuomo's announcement comes less than a month after President Biden launched new nationwide initiatives to tackle gun violence.

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