Governor Kathy Hochul announced this week that a new Interstate Gun Task Force, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Police, will take place Wednesday.
“We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to fight the scourge of illegal guns on our streets,” Governor Hochul said. “Too many lives have been lost because of illegal firearms that should never have been on our streets. By convening law enforcement officials from across the region, we can share intelligence and strategies that stem the flow of illegal guns and keep New Yorkers safe.”
The task force will bring together law enforcement personnel from nine northeast states to tackle the issue of illegal guns.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said, “Getting guns off our streets is the most important moral imperative of our time. Governor Kathy Hochul and I are taking serious action to end gun violence in our state, starting with stopping the flow of guns to New York by way of the Iron Pipeline. Addressing the public health crisis that is the gun violence epidemic will take the utmost teamwork between the State, our localities, the Federal government, and our community groups. The Governor and I stand ready to work in close coordination with all parties to bring a sure and swift end to the violence and fear plaguing New Yorkers and their families.”
The Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, first announced during Governor Hochul’s 2022 State of the State address, will convene on January 26 at the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) in East Greenbush. It is the latest joint effort to bring a unified approach from State and City leaders, including Governor Hochul, Lieutenant Governor Benjamin and Mayor Adams, to the crucial issue of public safety. The agenda will include setting up the information-sharing consortium and crime analysis centers, as well as ways to share intelligence, tracing tools, strategies and tactics across jurisdictions while partnering with prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in each region.
Representatives from the New York State Police, New York City Police Department (NYPD), the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and law enforcement agencies from New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire, will gather at the first Task Force meeting to coordinate immediate action that will help stop the flow of illegal guns and prevent further gun violence.
Governor Hochul’s FY 2023 Executive Budget invests in public safety and efforts to curb the devastating impacts of gun violence. Governor Hochul proposed nearly $9 million in funding for the New York State Police to hire new recruits, gun crime tracing analysts, social media analysts and computer crime experts. Governor Hochul has also pledged nearly $4 million to invest in equipment and software for a computer and cyber crimes unit within the State Police.
Data already show the ways in which interstate gun trafficking is causing chaos and disorder in New York. According to the New York State Police’s Criminal Gun Clearinghouse, a total of 1,074 illegal guns were recovered last year. Preliminary statistics from NYPD show a total of 4,473 illegal guns were traced from out-of-state sources, with most coming from southern states like Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.