Cuomo announces coalition with other states to fight for tough gun laws

Candles glow at a memorial site to honor the 17 people who were killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

As part of the coalition, the four states will create a cross-state task force of law enforcement officials that will trace and intercept illegal guns, form a Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium and step up intelligence and information sharing among the states, according to the release.

"Right now, you have the high school students showing more leadership than the leaders in Washington", New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a conference call, referring to the students of Parkland, Florida, where 17 were killed last week.

Governors in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have signed a memorandum of understanding to share information about anyone barred from owning or buying a firearm in their respective states. "However, the federal government's continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread, but it has actually prevented the laws like the SAFE Act from being fully effective", Governor Cuomo said. "So we said that we're going to take action". "We will not wait for Washington to act - the time for action is now".

"My daughter kept asking me, as she has for the past week, 'Mom, what are you going to do about it?'" said Gov. Raimondo.

Other governors noted their states have some of the nation's toughest gun laws - and lowest rates of gun violence.

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Governor Cuomo and his Democratic counterparts - Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo - said the coalition was necessary because of the inability of the federal government and Congress to effectively deal with the issue of gun violence.

"We're neighbors, and a lot of our folks go to one another's states to make other types of purchases", Malloy said.

Information on gun purchases, permits, and which guns have been used in crimes will now be able to be shared across four states. As states, we must work together to take the steps and enact the measures to protect our residents and our communities. Because it means selling more guns and the NRA is in the business of selling guns. Rhode Island's Governor says she watched yesterday's protests with her 13 year-old daughter. This groundbreaking consortium will fill the void left by the federal government's 1996 ban on the use of federal funds to study gun violence which has obstructed research efforts across the nation, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

There will also be an effort to share information across state lines that isn't readily available in the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System for gun sales. In a tweet he said he would be "strongly pushing" comprehensive background checks, with an emphasis on mental health, and supported raising the age to buy rifles to 21 and banning so-called "bump stocks", which allow semi-automatic guns to fire at near-automatic speeds.

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