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Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, signed an executive order on Tuesday declaring gun violence a “disaster emergency” to give authorities greater powers to address the incidence of gun crime in the state.
The executive order, through which an Office of Gun Violence Prevention is created, requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to collect and share incident data from local police departments.
In addition, the emergency involves an investment of $138.7 million in intervention, prevention and employment programs. According to Cuomo’s Press Office, that investment will seek to “engage at-risk youth and get young people off the streets.”
Through his Twitter account, the Democratic governor referred to gun violence in New York as a “public health crisis” and the gun industry as an “insult to victims.”
“If you look at the recent numbers, more people are now dying from gun violence and crime than from COVID,” Cuomo said in part of his speech. “It’s a national problem, I know that, but somebody has to step up and address it.”
The declaration also creates a new state police gun trafficking interdiction unit to stem the flow of illegal guns into the state.
This order comes at a time when New York City has experienced a spike in gun violence compared to previous years, although there was a slight decrease in the month of June, according to NYPD reports.