Four U.S. States Announce Effort to Curb Gun ViolenceBy
‘Trace and intercept’ strategy along Interstate 95 corridor
Databases go beyond what’s available through federal checks
Four Northeastern states will cooperate to seize and trace illegal guns and prevent dangerous people from making legal purchases, their Democratic governors said.
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island are particularly vulnerable to trafficking because they are on the Interstate 95 corridor, the most heavily traveled U.S. highway, the governors said in a conference call with reporters.
Though the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead on Feb. 14 was a dramatic demonstration of the need for stronger policies, the states had been discussing a consortium for about a year, said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Law enforcement will work together to “trace and intercept illegal guns,” he said, and state universities will research “smart-gun” technology and other safety measures.
New York has a shareable database listing 77,000 people with mental illness as a red flag for attempted purchases, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The states can also share arrest warrants and protection orders, which aren’t in federal background-check systems but are available to state law enforcement, Cuomo said.
“We’re not going to hold our breath, and we’re not going to risk our children’s lives” waiting for the U.S. Congress to tighten gun laws, Cuomo said.
On Wednesday, survivors of the Florida shooting met with President Donald Trump to discuss making schools safer. On Twitter Thursday morning, Trump praised the National Rifle Association and its leaders, chief executive officer Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist.
“What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote.
— With assistance by Joshua Gallu