Gov. Cuomo Deems Gun Violence a ‘Disaster Emergency’ in New York, Calls Executive Order the First of Its Kind

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the executive order at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, saying it's the first of its kind in the nation. 

Andrew Cuomo

Image via Getty/David Dee Delgado

Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order declaring gun violence a “disaster emergency” in the state. 

With the order, Cuomo says the state will now treat the issue like a public health emergency, which will free up resources for state and city officials, according to MSNBC.

Cuomo made the announcement at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, and said it was the first of its kind in the nation. 

Cuomo intends to follow the model the state used for COVID-19, combatting the statewide gun violence surge in seven different areas: “Treat gun violence like a public health emergency, target hotspots with data and science, positive engagement for at-risk youth, break the cycle of escalating violence, get illegal guns off the streets, keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, rebuild the police-community relationship.”

“We’re going to make this place a better place,” Cuomo said during the end of his statement. “We’re going to come together to make it happen. We must do it, we can do it, we will do it, and it starts today.”

As NBC New York reports, NYC shootings have soared since spring 2020, with 687 people wounded or killed by guns as of June 6. That figure is the highest for a winter/early spring since 2000, but does not surpass the 2,400 people shot during the same period in 1993. 

President Joe Biden, too, has said that the government is “taking on the bad actors doing bad things to our communities,” and announced an anti-crime plan of his own.

“The gun industry is the only industry in America with immunity from civil lawsuits,” Cuomo tweeted. “It’s an insult to victims of gun violence. Today I’m signing legislation to reinstate public nuisance liability for gun manufacturers in NYS.”

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