NEW YORK – New Yorkers will be able to sue gun manufacturers for harm caused by their products according to new legislation from the Governor.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order Tuesday declaring gun violence as a disaster emergency.
This comes at a time where gun violence has risen significantly in New York, with 51 people shot over the Fourth of July weekend.
“We went from one epidemic to another epidemic. We went from COVID to the epidemic of gun violence and the fear and the death that goes along with it,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo and State Attorney General Letitia James say the new order will help fight the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act from 2005, which protects gun manufacturers from being sued for the crimes used by their products.
The executive action also creates the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which will require Police Departments to send in gun violence data in order to discover crime hotspots and move resources to those areas.
“We’re going to come up with a comprehensive, organized science and data-driven approach. We’re going to make sure all the agencies are working together. We’re going to reach out to the local community and make them part of it,” said Cuomo.
Along with these efforts is a $138.7 million investment in programs for violence intervention and prevention that will aim to increase job opportunities and community involvement for at-risk youth. The bill will create new programs as well as support any existing ones as well.
According to State Senator George Borello however, it was Governor Cuomo’s pro-criminal policies and efforts to defund the Police that led to this uptick in gun violence.
In a statement, Borrello says “the Governor’s declaration of a gun violence disaster emergency is a gross abuse of his executive authority and an attempt to politically capitalize on a problem that he helped create.”
Republican lawmakers will likely challenge Cuomo’s Executive Order, but it is unclear whether the Governor’s order will stand in court.