Malloy joins other governors to form gun task force

February 22, 2018

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday joined governors in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island to form a new task force to work on gun control, share information and track weapons.

Called the Coalition States for Gun Safety, the Democratic governors from each state said the task force will work to trace and intercept weapons, share information and intelligence, and create a regional gun violence research consortium between their state universities.

“What we are doing today is very different,” Malloy said. “It’s a way of saying we can’t wait for the federal government to act. Let’s work across the border. Let’s advocate for better laws across the region and reach out to other governors and ask them to participate as well.”

“This gives us a different level of protection and it makes sense to share information across borders,” Malloy said.

The governors all noted the tragic massacre in Parkland, Florida, and said they accelerated formation of the task force in response. The governors said information, such as the mental health condition of someone seeking to buy a gun, could be shared to prevent that person from going to a nearby state if denied in New York.

Also, guns used in a crime could be better tracked from state to state, they said.

“This is coordinating and deepening coordination and intelligence sharing,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

New York Gov. Andrew Coumo noted “this is the next evolution” of state action to protect residents from gun violence. “This is governors coming together to form a coalition,” he said.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo added “We can’t wait for Washington to the right thing. We are taking concrete practical action steps. Gun laws save lives.”

While Malloy and Coumo noted their states have already enacted strict gun laws, Raimondo said it’s still legal in Rhode Island to buy an assault weapon and high capacity magazines.

“I’m going to be working with the legislature to fix that, Raimondo said. “We will try to convince other governors to join us. We can send a message that it is possible to improve our gun laws.”

Coumo said he’s tired of waiting for Washington, D.C. to take action on gun control.

“We are not waiting for federal action,” Coumo said. “All of our states are already ahead of Washington on this issue. We hope Parkland will spur federal action, but we are not going to hold out breathe.

Coumo added “After Sandy Hook, New York passed the Safe Act. I’m not especially optimistic that the federal governor is going to be responsible. Trump has pledged allegiance to the NRA. The solution is not rocket science. It takes political courage.”