New York, along with eight other northeastern states, are now part of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, and Mayor Eric Adams took part virtually in the first meeting Wednesday.
And next week, he'll have a big meeting with President Joe Biden on combatting gun violence.
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The White House says that on Thursday, February 3, the president will travel to New York City and join Adams to discuss the Administration's comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime.
"I look forward to welcoming President Biden to New York City next week and sitting down to discuss how we can work collaboratively to end the scourge of gun violence we are seeing on New York City streets," Adams said. "The sea of violence comes from many rivers, and that's why my Blueprint to End Gun Violence in New York City seeks to dam every river that feeds this greater crisis. Public safety is my administration's highest priority, and we welcome the opportunity to display to President Biden how federal and local governments can coordinate and support each other in this fight to keep New Yorkers safe."
Meantime Wednesday, Hochul hosted the task force meeting in-person at the New York State Intelligence Center.
The task force includes some 50 law enforcement representatives from nine states in the northeast working together to stop the flow of illegal guns, and Hochul called the state's borders "porous."
"You think about guns illegally flowing in from the state of Pennsylvania, they have different gun laws," she said. "We are proud of the gun laws we have here in the state of New York, and that's why we know our problem is being caused from out of state guns."
Hochul called for "interdiction efforts along our border of Pennsylvania, identifying the gun shows where people are purchasing guns, loading up a trunk and coming up I-81 or Route 90 into Western New York, and the guns are ending up in our cities. That's the level of trafficking we are looking into."
It comes as Adams works to implement his Blueprint to End Gun Violence, which includes increasing police patrols, gun checkpoints, and bringing back the controversial plainclothes anti-crime unit.
Adams says the unit will now have more oversight and training.
Hochul noted that gun violence is a national crisis, and 90 of the top 100 cities in America are seeing an escalation in gun violence.
"Where are these guns coming from? They aren't originating in the state of New York," Hochul said. "We are compelled to do everything we possibly can."
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Hochul also announced the appointment of Calliana Thomas as the Director of the New York State Office of Gun Violence Prevention. As part of the governor's actions to prevent and reduce gun violence throughout New York State, the OGVP will identify and bring together key partners in the community and law enforcement to identify steps that can be taken to curb gun violence in New York State.
"Taking strong action against gun violence requires a multi-faceted approach," Hochul said. "Calliana S. Thomas is a dedicated public servant who will be a critical asset to our efforts to fight this public health crisis, combat gun violence, and keep New Yorkers safe."
The governor has also tripled the state funding towards gun tracing efforts.
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