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New York adopts FBI definition of ‘mass shooting’

Governor Kathy Hochul has taken a step in addressing gun violence in New York by signing legislation S.6238A/A.5791A, which establishes a clear definition of the term “mass shooting.”


This legislative action aligns New York’s definition with that of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), ensuring a standardized understanding of mass shootings for more effective emergency response and access to necessary resources in their aftermath.

The definition stipulates that a mass shooting is an incident where at least four people are murdered using a firearm, shotgun, or rifle.

Governor Hochul emphasized the priority of safeguarding the safety and well-being of New Yorkers, highlighting the state’s efforts to combat gun violence through significant investments and the implementation of leading prevention measures.


Despite these proactive steps, the governor acknowledged that tragedies could still occur. This new legislation aims to provide an essential framework for efficient and timely emergency response and support to communities impacted by mass shootings.

The adoption of the FBI’s criteria for defining a mass shooting is a crucial development in New York’s broader strategy to address and manage the consequences of gun violence. By establishing a clear and consistent definition, the state is better positioned to mobilize emergency funding and resources effectively, ensuring a swift and coordinated response to such tragic events.

This measure reflects New York’s commitment to both preventing gun violence and responding comprehensively when such incidents occur.



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