‘Despite our best gun safety laws, we have more damn guns on the street than ever before,’ says Connecticut governor
The governors of four northeastern states agreed Thursday to share information about firearm purchases to help detect and investigate straw buyers and other gun crimes.
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Chief executives in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania signed a 10-page agreement to exchange gun crime data for use only by law enforcement, with provisions governing safety and mandatory notices If the information is misused or used improperly.
Four Democratic governors said the initiative would help target gun networks crossing state borders.
“Despite our best gun safety laws, we have more damn guns on the street than ever before,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said in an online announcement along with the other three. “And if you’re not taking guns seriously, you’re not taking law and order seriously.”
Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said that about 85% of guns recovered by police in his state in a recent six-month period came from other states.
“None of us here on screen are blinded by the fact that the gun laws in our individual states are just as good as the rest of our neighborhoods,” Murphy said.
Murphy has regularly pointed to gun control legislation he has signed as he seeks re-election in New Jersey this year. They have also promised, if re-elected, to mandate safety courses for those seeking gun permits, to require lockboxes to store firearms and to prevent damage caused by their products to gun manufacturers. make responsible for.
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The states plan to share details obtained from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives through an “eTrace” report that shows who first bought and sold guns recovered during criminal investigations. States can also share gun data from before Thursday’s agreement.
They are not required to share marks considered “priority and/or sensitive” in accordance with the Agreement.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said gun violence has increased during the pandemic and called the four-state memo transformative and a potential model across the United States.
“If Congress allows us to share it at the national level, what better place than this,” Hochul said.
Ceasefire PA, an organization that seeks to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania, called the agreement a step further, but said state lawmakers could also help pass other measures, such as a mandatory requirement for lost and stolen firearms. Reporting.
“We will continue to lose our lives to this pandemic until the General Assembly begins working to reduce illegal arms smuggling in the state,” said Ceasefire PA executive director Adam Garber.
The MoU expires in five years, but will automatically be renewed annually thereafter unless a state wishes to exit. States can also withdraw with 30 days notice.
The deal requires each state to designate and screen law enforcement people who will be allowed access to the data, and it must be placed on computer systems dedicated to criminal justice.
States must notify each other of misuse of information, including unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, modification, storage or deletion.