Daily US Times: New York has become the first state of the US to declare a disaster emergency order to address rising gun violence.
Over the 4 July holiday weekend the US state saw 51 shootings, Governor Andrew Cuomo said as he signed the executive order.
The executive order will funnel $138.7m towards gun violence intervention and prevention programmes.
It comes amid reports of a rise in gun deaths across the United States, including nearly 200 over the past weekend.
In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released preliminary 2020 statistics showing a significant jump – 25% – in murders from the year before. So far, the upward trend in such kind of violence has continued to this year too. The majority of homicides in the US are gun-related.
In late June, US President Joe Biden unveiled a strategy to combat the rise in homicides in the country, which includes curtailing firearms trafficking and rogue gun dealers. The strategy also delegates more funding for personnel – including law enforcement.
New York’s disaster declaration describes rising gun violence as a public health crisis, and made several comparisons to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting public health response.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said: “If you look at the recent numbers, more people are now dying from gun violence and crime than Covid.”
He added: “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.”