Democratic Governors Form 'States for Gun Safety' Group

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at Teamsters Local

Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Governor Andrew Cuomo of NY, and Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island today announced the formation of the new "States for Gun Safety" coalition to combat gun violence.

The governors of the US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island Thursday announced the formation of "States for Gun Safety" to combat gun violence in the aftermath of the Florida high school massacre.

The group will create the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium to study the causes and effects of gun violence.

She also said that the four governors in the coalition would press other governors to join them at a meeting this weekend of the National Governors Association.

Cuomo said the "groundbreaking partnership" to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines would "be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe". That is where they are going to go in Washington. Why?

The coalition will start a multi-state task force to trace the sale and use of out-of-state guns in crimes, the group's memorandum says.

There's plenty of talk about how to prevent mass shootings like the one last week at a school in Parkland, Florida. "All of our states are already ahead of the federal government when it comes to laws on this issue", New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

"We know stronger gun laws save lives", Raimondo said.

State law enforcement agencies will be given details on firearm purchase or permit denials for people who are disqualified, according to the release. It is not clear how the other states would act on it, given that the law in CT and New Jersey, for example, expressly forbids firearm purchases only by people who have been committed to a mental health center.

"It's time to take action and that's what we're doing", Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said.

The four states will also designate institutions of higher education to partner and create the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium.

Currently, states are limited to using the federal government's background check system, which does not always pick up violations that lead certain states to prohibit citizens from owning guns. New York's database, for example, lists more than 70,000 people who are prohibited from possessing firearms because mental health professionals have diagnosed them as likely to hurt themselves or others.

The quartet of governors also announced the possibility that public universities could become centers for research into gun violence.

"Let's be clear what "comprehensive background checks" means - subjecting all commercial sales (gun stores/shows, online sales) to checks", Murphy wrote in a tweet.


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