"Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, NY is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands. But, even more importantly, a collective of states can take these steps together to broaden the reach and impact of common sense gun safety laws".
The current lack of gun violence research is due to federal government policies, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said. "So it has devolved to the states, now for over 20 years, and our thought is perhaps if we can do it in a coordinated way, the more of us at it, hopefully the better result and meaningfully propelling things like smart gun technology", Murphy said. All four states in the coalition, to varying degrees, use protective orders as a basis for restricting gun sales.
The governors signed a memorandum of understanding to create a regional task force, which will comprise law enforcement and intelligence officials, to trace and intercept illegal guns.
State law enforcement agencies will be given details on firearm purchase or permit denials for people who are disqualified, according to the release.
New Jersey Gov. Philip D. Murphy said the governors have been working on the effort for at least a year and, while it's not a reaction to the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, they are accelerating their efforts in light of the tragedy.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy agreed with Cuomo that the states can't wait for the federal government to act.
Malloy said they are inviting other governors to also join the "States for Gun Safety" coalition.
The multi-state coalition builds on years of progress spearheaded by Governor Cuomo to combat gun violence in NY.
NY and CT both passed new gun restrictions after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. New York's database, for example, lists more than 70,000 people who are prohibited from possessing firearms because mental health professionals have diagnosed them as likely to hurt themselves or others.
The nationwide gun debate continues to rage. The GIVE initiative provides funding to support technical assistance, training, equipment, and personnel - such as prosecutors and crime analysts - to help communities reduce gun violence and save lives.
The quartet of governors also announced the possibility that public universities could become centers for research into gun violence.
All four governors agree what they are doing does not take the place of action on background checks and metal health that still need to be taken by Washington.