Four Democratic governors agree to share gun crime data in effort to thwart violence

Four Democratic governors agree to share gun crime data in effort to thwart violence
© Gov. Lamont twitter account

The governors of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut came together Thursday to announce a new initiative to curb gun violence across their states by sharing gun crime data.

The Democratic governors met over Zoom to describe how they will use this shared, interstate data to increase enforcement of gun control measures and catch illegal gun sellers and users.

“Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic will require an all-hands-on-deck collaborative approach, which is why we are taking an important step forward today working with New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to share crime gun data between our respective states,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a news conference Thursday that most guns used in the northeast come from the south, highlighting the need for an interstate effort to combat gun crime. 

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said on the Zoom call, “COVID doesn’t know state borders and neither do guns. Gun violence is a symptom of so much more that’s going on in this post-COVID world — the isolation, the quarantine, what that’s done in terms of stress, what that’s done in terms of extreme activities going on in our schools, on our streets. And guns just exacerbate that.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gun violence across the country. The gun control advocacy group Everytown found that there were nearly 4,000 more firearm deaths and more than 9,000 more firearm-related injuries in 2020 than in 2019.

There were also a record number of firearm sales amid the pandemic, which alongside a mental health crisis and other disruptions to day-to-day life, has contributed to the 25 percent surge in homicides and non-suicide-related shootings in 2020, gun control advocates say.

Yet as cases and restrictions ease, gun violence has not quieted. Mass shootings seemed to slow during the pandemic, however, with schools and businesses returning to in-person class and work, they are making a comeback. According to a report from Newsweek, mass shootings have just about doubled this school year as kids go back to the classroom.