The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island are joining together to form "States for Gun Safety," a coalition to combat gun violence.
"We're not waiting for federal action. All of our states are already ahead of the federal government when it comes to laws on this issue. The Florida Parkland massacre, one would hope that it would spur responsible federal action but we're not going to hold our breath and were not going to risk our children's lives," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
The goal of the coalition is to better share information through a multi-state database. That will supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, while also tracing and intercepting guns that are used in crimes and guns that are transported across state borders.
"That's a task force comprised of law enforcement and intelligence officials. We already to some extent do a lot of cooperation. New York for New Jersey is a big partner, but we think we can do more," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said.
The agreement will also create the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium. It will be comprised of public health, social welfare, public policy and criminal justice experts who will share and study data to better inform policies nationwide.
"We'll reach out to other governors, I think, and invite them to participate as well. But this is significant in the sense that the states will have done something, and want to do more, and are coming together to do just that," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said.
Governors Cuomo and Malloy both signed tougher gun restrictions into law following the school shooting in Newtown in 2012 that killed 26 people, including 20 young children. Governor Murphy has promised to follow suit if the New Jersey legislature approves new measures.
"Let's do something real and let's make a difference. This has been handled by countries across the globe. We can handle it if we want to. If we have the political courage and the political will to do it. It's that simple," Governor Cuomo said.
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