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New York has lowest firearm homicide rate among 10 largest states

New York had the lowest firearm homicide rate among the 10 largest states in the U.S. in 2021, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Tuesday. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York recorded a firearm homicide rate of 3.1 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2021, which is less than half of the national average of 6.3 deaths per 100,000 residents.

The state’s success in reducing firearm-related deaths can be attributed to the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative, which supports 20 police departments in 17 counties that account for more than 80 percent of the violent crime that occurs in New York State outside of New York City. The GIVE program focuses on identifying the source of gun violence, interrupting its transmission, and treating it as a public health crisis.

However, the GIVE program reported that 20 police departments participating in the initiative experienced 50 shooting incidents with injury in January 2023. The Syracuse City Police Department is one of the 20 departments that receive funds from the organization.

Although the 20 departments participating in GIVE experienced a 15 percent decrease in shooting incidents with injury in 2022 compared to 2021, the Syracuse Police Department reported an eight percent increase in shootings in the city in 2022. However, the number of individuals killed as a result of these shootings went down compared to 2021.

Law enforcement agencies across New York State seized 10,093 guns in 2022, with 260 of those firearms seized by Syracuse Police. Notably, State Police seized 120 ghost guns in 2022, which is 85 percent more than in 2021.

Governor Hochul acknowledged the progress made in reducing firearm violence but emphasized that more needs to be done. “We are taking major steps in the right direction, but these numbers are still too high,” she said. “Each and every incident is tragic, and each shooting represents an unquantifiable amount of pain and harm to victims and their communities. We must continue treating gun violence as the public health crisis that it is, by identifying the source, interrupting its transmission, and treating it.”