4 governors join forces on gun safety, pledge to share intel

Georgia Reed
February 25, 2018

The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island are forming a coalition of like-minded states on gun control, hoping to make progress where they see the federal government has faltered. "The probability is they also go across the borders to make gun purchases and why not share that information?" They want to create a cross-state task force of law enforcement officials that will trace and intercept illegal guns; form a regional gun violence research consortium; and step up intelligence and information sharing among the states.

With the state budget a hot-button issue in the capital, it's unclear how much this new regional coalition will cost CT taxpayers. "So we said that we're going to take action".

The four Democrats announced the formation of "States for Gun Safety" on Thursday. The others may have to pass additional laws to prevent those individuals from buying guns within its borders, but the governors argued the coalition is a step in the right direction.

Cuomo charged that the "federal government's continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread", and "has actually prevented the laws like the SAFE Act from being fully effective". "Let's not just advocate for better laws in our state, but advocate for better laws in our own region".

Rhode Island's Gina Raimondo and Conneticut's Dannel Malloy agreed.

New Jersey Gov. Philip D. Murphy said the governors have been working on the effort for at least a year and, while it's not a reaction to the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, they are accelerating their efforts in light of the tragedy.

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"We can not wait for Congress to act", said Murphy. In New York, for example, people who are the subject of protection orders are barred from purchasing firearms.

The four states will also designate institutions of higher education to partner and create the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium.

NICS, which searches three nationally held databases, is overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Building on these efforts, the states will also work to push the federal government to adopt common-sense gun safety measures. "The problem is mentally ill people and unsafe people having access to guns".

Most recently, Governor Cuomo has put forth new legislation as part of the 2018 State of the State which will remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes.

"Let's be clear what "comprehensive background checks" means - subjecting all commercial sales (gun stores/shows, online sales) to checks", Murphy wrote in a tweet.

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