ALBANY, NY (WNY News Now) – After launching the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns in January, New York’s Governor reports that the collaboration between states has been successful.
“States conduct our investigations, the data stops at the state line. It was not shared with neighbors and this pipeline, some call it the iron pipeline of bringing illegal guns in, was being successful because we didn’t share data,” admits Governor Kathy Hochul. “So, I convened representatives for nine states – Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, as well as New York, Quebec, NYPD, Boston PD, ATF, and FBI and of course, the State Police.”
From January to July, Hochul says gun seizures increased 20 percent over the same time period last year. State Police alone seized almost 1,500 guns, the highest number in our state’s history. Troopers also recovered ghost guns, which are illegal in New York.
“And our report from Criminal Justice Services shows that through July of this year, shootings in the State of New York shootings overall are down 11 percent and shooting victims are down 12 percent compared to the same period last year,” boasts Hochul.
$227 million dollars in gun violence prevention programs and law enforcement support have been rolled out, which includes centers to collect crime, data and investigative work. Hochul explains this is meant to help effectively solve, reduce, and eventually prevent gun crimes, according to.
“A threat of a mass harm crime, making a threat of making a mass harm is now a crime. So, you threaten this, that is a crime. So again, connecting the dots, stopping it before something tragic happens, that is how we’re approaching these investigations. Banning the sale of AR-15s for those under 21,” emphasized Hochul.
Social media investigations are also now required for both gun and ammunition purchases, which will be tracked through a database used by all law enforcement agencies. Red flag laws were also strengthened.
“I directed, and this was not permissive, this was a directive to the State Police, that when they become aware of an individual who could do harm to themselves or others, we have a right to find out if they have access to weapons, and if so, take them,” says Hochul. “Appear before a judge, make your case, but in so doing, you may be preventing the next mass shooting or further shootings on the streets. So, we’ve had the number of protection orders along these lines.”
Since these laws were passed, orders of protection increased 74 percent, resulting in 188 orders. The state is also seeking regulation to restrict concealed weapons in sensitive locations.