States' Gun Safety Group Gets 3 More Members: Delaware, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico
By Glenn Blain
The multistate coalition to combat gun violence is getting some reinforcements.
New York Gov. Cuomo announced Monday that the governors of Massachusetts, Delaware and Puerto Rico have signed on to the "States for Gun Safety" coalition, which intends to pool resources and information to help stop gun trafficking and prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing guns.
"Working together, states can take action that will directly confront the threat of gun violence, and reduce the toll it takes on our communities," Delaware Gov. John Carney said.
The three newcomers join New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island in the coalition, which was announced last week.
Under the plan, the participating states will pool their intelligence, crime data and other resources -- including information on pending arrest warrants and orders of protection -- to create a database that would be used to supplement the federal government's background check database.
Cuomo said information from New York's mental health database -- which was created as part of the state's SAFE Act to keep mentally ill people deemed a threat to themselves or others from purchasing guns -- would also be shared with the other states.
The plan also calls for the creation of a cross-state task force to combat illegal gun trafficking and a new research consortium to examine gun violence.
Coalition members also intend to lobby the federal government to adopt additional gun safety measures, including universal background checks, and an assault weapons ban.
"Our states collectively already have better gun safety laws than the federal government, and by working together to share information and bolster enforcement, we will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and better protect our communities," Cuomo said.
Tom King, an NRA board member and president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, downplayed the coalition's impact.
"They are all anti-gun states to begin with," King said.
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