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Governor Cuomo declares disaster emergency on gun violence with first-in-the-nation executive order

Andrew Cuomo
Posted at 2:47 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 18:07:59-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he had declared a disaster emergency on gun violence with an executive order.

The order, which Cuomo says is the first of its kind in the nation, aims to treat gun violence like a public health issue.

Following the model the state used to combat COVID-19's spread, Cuomo says the state will work to combat the surge in gun violence in seven areas:

  • Treat gun violence like a public health emergency
  • Target hotspots with data and science
  • Positive engagement for at-risk youth
  • Break the cycle of escalating violence
  • Get illegal guns off the streets
  • Keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people
  • Rebuild the police-community relationship

Under the executive order, the state will require large police departments to begin submitting "incident-level data" on shootings in their jurisdictions so that hotspots can be tracked.

The order will create a summer jobs program, for at-risk youth and young adults in those hotspots.

"We have to create jobs to keep these kids off the streets. New York State will pay 100% of the salary. We just want them to get training and a place to go," said Cuomo. "So they see a future."

The order also creates a new Governor's Council on Gun Violence Reduction. The council will facilitate coordination between state and local governments and community groups responding to gun violence. It will also review existing laws and suggest reforms.

The announcement comes after a weekend of gun violence in Buffalo. 21 people were shot in separate incidents over three days. Then on Monday night, a toddler and three adults were shot on Donovan Drive. No arrests have been reported so far in any of the shootings.