NY joins forces with CT, NJ & RI for tougher gun laws

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at Teamsters Local

"Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation", the governors made a decision to form the coalition, Cuomo said.

Govs. Phil Murphy, of New Jersey; Andrew Cuomo, of New York; Dannel Malloy, of CT; and Gina Raimondo, of Rhode Island, announced the formation of the coalition in a news release, and invited other states across the nation to join. The multi-state database will "supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, trace and intercept guns that are used in crimes as well as guns transported across state borders and launch the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium".

"And we know what happens down south: they have these things, those guns get on I-95, and stops are made in Washington and Philadelphia and other cities, and in my state Bridgeport or Hartford or New Haven, and all the way up through New England".

Last month, Malloy, Murphy and Cuomo announced they were preparing a federal lawsuit over the sweeping tax reform legislation that was enacted by Congress previous year on the basis that it treated their states unfairly by limiting the deduction for state and local taxes.

The four Democrats announced the formation of "States for Gun Safety" on Thursday, about a week after the mass shooting at a Florida high school. Last week's incident in Broward County, Florida is the deadliest school shooting since.

The states will issue a memo of understanding to share information from their databases, push manufacturers to produce "smart guns" and advocate for action in Congress, the governors said. The consortium will be operated by a partnership of to-be-announced colleges and universities in the member states.

The federal government has largely prohibited funding of gun violence research since 1996, the news release notes.

In the 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control became interested in studying gun violence amid research that suggested gun owners were more at risk of homicide and suicide.

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Cuomo blasted the notion of arming schoolteachers, saying that's what the National Rifle Association wants.

In 1996, Republican Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas attached the so-called Dickey Amendment to a spending bill that banned the use of CDC money to "advocate or promote gun control".

Since then, America's gun epidemic has only worsened.

Incidents including the massacres at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the Orlando nightclub, and Las Vegas have made worldwide headlines, but the CDC has not attempted to challenge Congress or the NRA again.

CT has a law barring people subject to a temporary restraining order from buying guns, but those people can easily travel to another state and purchase a firearm, Malloy said. The idea is to take action where the federal government won't.

"I think this was a wake-up call for all of us to work together", he said.


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