New York governor signs emergency measures to combat gun violence ‘disaster’

The New York governor on Tuesday issued new emergency measures to combat gun violence as he made it easier for shooting victims to sue gun manufacturers.

Andrew Cuomo declared gun violence an “emergency disaster,” against a backdrop of rising crime in New York City and the United States.

He unveiled special measures to contain an increase in shootings in New York City since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of last year.

“If you look at the recent numbers, more people are now dying from gun violence and crime than from COVID,” Cuomo said in a press release.

“This is a national problem, but someone has to stand up and tackle this problem because our future depends on it,” he added.

The governor said he appointed a special coordinator for the prevention of gun violence associated with the state’s health services.

The agency will have to work with social services, prison services, police forces and others.

A special police unit will also be established to combat the trafficking of firearms from other states.

New York has some of the strictest gun laws in America, but it’s easy to travel and buy guns in the neighboring states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which are more lax.

Cuomo also announced to invest $138 million in intervention and prevention programs, including $76 million to create jobs for young people most at risk.

The governor also signed two laws on Tuesday.

One law on public nuisance liability makes it easier for citizens to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers.

Manufacturers are largely exempt from liability by federal law, which will circumvent New York law.

The second is intended to prevent persons wanted for crimes from acquiring a weapon.

These measures come at a time when New York and the US have seen a sharp rise in crime since last summer.

The country’s major cities saw homicide rates rise 30 percent in 2020, with Republicans accusing Democratic leaders of negligence.

President Joe Biden introduced measures to limit the flow of firearms on June 23, but a divided Congress makes it difficult for Democrats to pass laws.

(AFP)

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