Public Advocate's Statement On Governor Cuomo Declaring A Gun Violence Emergency

July 6th, 2021

Press Release

"I am glad to see the Governor begin to treat gun violence as the emergency that it has long been, and today's announcements are as welcome as they are overdue. People doing the work of violence prevention on the ground, within communities, have long asked for the kind of funding, resources, and attention they may now receive.

"Both the proposed Office of Gun Violence Prevention and the Council on Gun Violence Reduction have the potential to be critical in coordinating strategies that address both the supply and demand sides of this crisis. They will only be truly effective, though, if they are an integral part of public safety conversations and solutions, rather than an afterthought. I would also like to thank the Governor for signing anti-gun violence measures into law this afternoon, in particular a bill by Senator Zellnor Myrie which aims to prevent the gun industry's immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from the dangers posed by its products.

"Addressing the root causes of violence requires a holistic reimagining of public safety, with input from a number of areas of government - sharing data across agencies and across localities will be key. As we have seen, as I hear in the conversations I'm having today, the gun violence epidemic is plaguing not only New York City, but Syracuse, Buffalo, and places across our state and nation. This has been a public health crisis that predated and was exacerbated by the pandemic - those of us who have been in the streets know that the state of emergency is not new even if this declaration is.

"Whether these new initiatives are successful will ultimately depend on whether today's announcements are about a headline, or whether they signal the kind of structural changes and leadership support that New York needs toward reimagining public safety. I look forward to seeing these initiatives implemented, and being a part of the ongoing work to save lives."

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