ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the first-in-the-nation Executive Order declaring gun violence in the state as a Disaster Emergency, marking the first step in a comprehensive plan that aims to tackle the surge in gun violence throughout New York.
“When you look at recent numbers, more people are dying from gun violence than of Covid,” Cuomo said. “This is a national problem but someone has to step up and address this problem because our future depends on it.”
The governor’s decision lead to a stark reaction from some local leaders, some of who said Cuomo took his executive powers too far.
“I think is really just more of the same from this governor trying to control your state from the executive without use of the legislature,” Assembly Member Philip Palmesano said. “I think this executive order really is just an admission of failure of policies from this administration and from the legislative majorities on the policies they’ve advanced regarding guns, crimes and violence, which has done nothing to address the dramatic increase in gun violence, shootings and murders.”
Gov. Cuomo’s plan outlined seven key areas, all of which he said aim of quelling the gun violence surge. The key areas include:
- Treat gun violence like the public health emergency it is;
- 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
In 2019, the city of Elmira saw a 19-percent increase in violent crimes. In 2020, the city saw a 29-percent decrease in violent crimes. Despite the decline, data shows homicide rates in large cities spiked nearly 20-percent last year and nearly 25-percent so far in 2021.
The latest victim was a three-year-old boy in Buffalo who was shot Monday night, alongside thee others, while watching fireworks. He’s currently listed in critical condition.