New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a “disaster emergency on gun violence” Tuesday amid a spike in violent crime in New York City.
“If you can beat COVID, you can beat gun violence,” Cuomo said Tuesday, addressing the spike in violent crime, according to The Epoch Times. “We’re in a new epidemic, and it’s gun violence, and it’s a matter of life and death also.”
Cuomo described shootings as a “public health crisis,” which he says the state will start to target gun violence and crimes the same model used to deal with COVID-19.
Law enforcement will target crime hotspots, curb the sale of illegal firearms, and other new initiatives. Law enforcement officers such as those who work in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) will no be required to submit “incident-level data” on shootings to help police better track crimes.
Cuomo also ordered the creation of a new state agency called the Governor’s Council on Gun Violence Reduction, which will coordinate between state and local governments to enact responses to gun violence.
The governor’s statements come after a bloody July 4 weekend in New York City. New York had at least 26 victims from 21 shootings during the weekend, with 12 shootings involving 13 victims on July 4 alone. Gun violence incidents have risen 40% in the city compared to the same time last year in 2020.
The rise in crime followed a decision by New York’s City Council to cut $1 billion from police funding.