New York declares gun violence a disaster emergency

Written by on July 7, 2021

New York has become the first US state to declare a disaster emergency order to address rising gun violence.


New York state saw 51 shootings over the 4 July holiday weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo said as he signed the executive order.


The directive will funnel $138.7m (£100m) towards gun violence intervention and prevention programmes.


It comes amid reports of a rise in gun deaths countrywide, including nearly 200 over the past weekend.


In March, the FBI released preliminary 2020 statistics showing a significant jump – 25% – in murders from the year before. So far, the upward trend has continued into 2021. In the US, the majority of homicides are gun-related.


US President Joe Biden unveiled a White House strategy to combat the rise in homicides in late June, which includes curtailing rogue gun dealers and firearms trafficking. It also delegates more funding for personnel – including law enforcement.Governor Cuomo’s state disaster declaration describes gun violence as a public health crisis, and made several comparisons to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting public health response.


“If you look at the recent numbers, more people are now dying from gun violence and crime than Covid,” the Democratic governor said.


“Just like we did with Covid, New York is going to lead the nation once again with a comprehensive approach to combating and preventing gun violence.”

Credit: BBC


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