New York, Feb 23 (IANS) The US states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have formed a coalition to combat gun violence in the wake of the Florida high school massacre last week.
The coalition, “States for Gun Safety”, was launched here on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, New York is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands,” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said.
Cuomo and his Democratic counterparts — Connecticut’s Dan Malloy, New Jersey’s Phil Murphy and Rhode Island’s 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.
“Not only will this ground-breaking partnership take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines, but by forming the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, we will be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe,” Cuomo said.
The coalition 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.
Building on these efforts, the group will also call on the federal government to swiftly enact universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and a federal waiting period between the purchase and delivery of guns.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a US non-profit organisation advocating gun control, the Florida attack has been the 18th school shooting in 2018.
Students from across the country are rising up against gun violence in the aftermath of the Florida shooting where Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 people.
From California to Florida, teenagers walked out of classes, stopped traffic and made speeches calling for government officials and lawmakers to take actions to ensure school safety.