New York Governor Kathy Hochul Proposes Gun Law Reforms
The Mass Shooting that occured on Saturday, May 14, 2022, took 10 innocent lives in Buffalo and rocked our community to its soul. Officials from New York State are looking to make some changes to reduce the probability of something like this from happening again in New York.
In a press conference, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a series of Executive Orders that are designed to fight the increase in white supremacist terrorism, strengthen gun laws in New York, and reduce the ways that extremists promote their disgusting views.
The horrific and despicable act of terror committed by a white supremacist this past weekend in Buffalo showed that we as a country are facing an intersection of two crises: the mainstreaming of hate speech - including white nationalism, racism and white supremacy - and the easy access to military-style weapons and magazines. This is a wake-up call and here in New York we are taking strong steps to directly address this deadly threat. Today, I issued Executive Orders to devote substantial resources and focus toward combating the troubling surge in domestic terrorism by identifying radicalized individuals and tracking their threats amplified on social media, and further empower State Police to keep guns away from dangerous people. I am also issuing a referral letter to the Attorney General to investigate social media's role in the Buffalo shooting, and am calling for the passage of several pieces of legislation that will help law enforcement get more guns off the street.
-Kathleen Courtney Hochul, Governor of New York State
Below is a breakdown of the proposals and Executive Orders:
Executive Order 18: Preventing and Responding to Domestic Terrorism
This order establishes a new unit within the New York State Office of Counter-Terrorism. This new Domestic Terrorism Unit of the New York State Police will primarily on tracking and respond to extremist violent threats on Social Media.
Executive Order 19:Directing the State Police to File Extreme Risk Protection Order
Going forward, the New York State Police are now required to file an Extreme Risk Protection Order when there is probable cause under to enforce the NYS Red Flag Law. The ultimate goal is to prohibit potentially dangerous people from being able to purchase or possess guns in New York.
Requesting the New York Attorney General to Investigate The Social Media Platforms That Were Used To Broadcast, Promote, and Facilitate Violence
The Governor sent a letter to New York State Attorney General Letitia James requesting the NYAG's Office begin investigating and gathering information about the ways that violent white extremist groups share information and promote their terrorist views under Section 63(8) of the New York State Executive Law.
Governor Hochul has pledged to work with the New York State Senate and Assembly to pass new laws to close a perceived Other Gun loophole by changing what defines certain firearms, increasing gun crime reporting rules, and requiring gun manufacturers to start microstamping semiautomatic pistols which aim to help law enforcement officials track weapons used in crimes better.