In the first of its kind, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is issuing an executive order declaring a disaster emergency on gun violence in New York State, the governor announced Tuesday afternoon.
“We went from one epidemic to another epidemic,” Cuomo said. “We went from COVID to the epidemic of gun violence. More people are dying of gun violence than of COVID.”
The announcement follows a string of shootings over the holiday weekend in cities across the state.
“What does this do? This executive order? First, it says to everyone in the state, I want you to understand the extent of the problem,” Cuomo said.
The governor said the state will be creating an Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the State Health Department. The office will convene a new “Governor’s Council on Gun Violence Reduction” to ensure coordination between the state, localities and “on the ground community groups.”
Cuomo’s declaration comes with a seven-part plan to combat the problem, which includes:
- Treat gun violence as a public health emergency
- Target hotspots
- Positively engage at-risk youth
- Stop guns from coming into the state by “declaring border war.”
- Get illegal guns off the street
- Get guns out of the hands of criminals
- Rebuild police-community relations