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Following Mass Shooting in Buffalo Supermarket, Governor Hochul Announces Support for Critical Gun Safety Policies to Tackle Armed Extremism, Hate-Motivated Violence

May 18, 2022

The New York chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding Governor Kathy Hochul for announcing her support for a slew of gun safety policies to help combat armed extremism and keep New York communities safe from hate-motivated gun violence. The announcement comes after the mass shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

“I’m grateful to Governor Hochul, who is standing up for survivors of gun violence like me,” said Pamela Hight, a Everytown Survivor Fellow and volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action whose son Ya-Quin English was shot and killed in 2013 and son Jermaine Hight was stabbed and killed in 2016. “The shooting in Buffalo shook me to my core – the victims looked like me, lived like me and loved like me. Nothing can bring my babies back, but I am deeply grateful for Governor Hochul taking steps to help disarm hate and prevent more families from experiencing this same pain.”

“The essence of leadership is responding to tragedies like the mass shooting in Buffalo with real solutions, not just rhetoric, and that’s exactly what Governor Hochul is doing by throwing her support behind these life-saving policies,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We already have many of the tools we need to prevent gun violence — now we need to make sure law enforcement, mental health professionals, school administrators, and everyday New Yorkers know when to take them out of the toolbox and put them to use.”

“To save lives and end these senseless killings we need more than thoughts and prayers, we need our lawmakers to take action – and that’s exactly what we’re seeing from Governor Hochul,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “These actions and proposals are critical to ensuring New York’s strong gun safety laws are fully implemented, utilized, and strengthened. We’re proud to see such strong gun sense leadership in New York and to continue supporting this life-saving work.”

The new proposals include:

  • S04116-A (Hoylman) / A07926-A (Rosenthal), legislation that would require all semiautomatic pistols sold in the State of New York to be microstamping-enabled, following a period of testing and certification of the technology by the Division of Criminal Justice Services;
  • An Executive Order to require the state police to file an application for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) under the state’s Red Flag Law when they believe the individual is a threat to himself, herself, or others. 
  • An Executive Order to establish a unit within the Office of Counterterrorism at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services dedicated to developing best practices for law enforcement, mental health, and school officials to address the rise in targeted violence, domestic violence extremism, and homegrown violent extremism, developing training to increase awareness of domestic violent extremism and radicalization, and establishing a Threat Assessment Management Program of multidisciplinary teams across the state;
  • Requiring counties to perform a review of current strategies, policies, and procedures to identify domestic threats and provide DHSES with a plan; and
  • Directing the State Police to establish a dedicated unit within the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) to track domestic violence extremism and increase social media monitoring at the Intelligence Center.

In April, the legislature approved a new state budget, including more than $200 million in funding for gun violence prevention programming, which adopted and built upon Governor Kathy Hochul’s executive budget plan released in January.

In an average year in New York, 870 people die by guns and an additional 2,607 people are wounded. Gun violence costs New York $5.9 billion each year, of which $321 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in New York is available here.

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