Four States Form Coalition to Track Guns After 'Federal Government's Continued Inaction'
Feb 25 2018
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.
"We refuse to allow federal inaction to enact commonsense, gun safety laws endanger the lives of our residents", Governor Malloy said.
The states will collaborate on several fronts, including creating a multi-state task force to trace and intercept illegal guns and establishing a regional gun violence research consortium through their public colleges and universities.
With the state budget a hot-button issue in the capital, it's unclear how much this new regional coalition will cost CT taxpayers.
"The agreement, in accordance with federal and state privacy protections, will provide state law enforcement agencies with details on the firearm purchase or permit denials for those who are disqualified", a news release from Malloy's office elaborates.
Cuomo says this plan is being done at the state level because of a lack of action from the federal government.
The governors are planning to ask other governors to join with them at the National Governors Association meeting this weekend. The Florida Parkland massacre, one would hope that it would spur responsible federal action.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state created a mental health database after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT, where 26 children and adults were slain. "Despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from special interest groups, we will work together as a coalition of states to keep our communities safe".
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said the collaboration will put together existing resources that will strengthen efforts against gun violence for all member states.
The group's research will be aimed at filling the gap created by the federal government's "ban" on the use of federal funds to study the causes of gun violence as a public health issue, according to the memo. The governors are saying they can not wait for the federal government to act, noting the "utter and complete inaction by Congress". The coalition of governors also will launch a Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium to research gun violence. 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.
All four governors agree what they are doing does not take the place of action on background checks and metal health that still need to be taken by Washington.