New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and three other Democrats—Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and New Jersey Phil Murphy on Thursday announced the agreement (pdf), which says that “gun violence continues to plague communities” throughout their states and the nation.
Law enforcement agencies being able to share “crime gun data” with agencies in other states “will assist in their efforts to detect and deter gun crime” and investigations into so-called straw purchasers, suspect dealers, firearms traffickers, and other criminals, the pact also states.
Under the agreement, which is set to last five years, the states will transmit all data on guns used in crimes to other states, excepting those designated priority and/or sensitive. The data will be sent via a secure transmission method that was not made public. The parties can only use the data for law enforcement purposes.
The regional effort will help “protect our residents and to end the menace of senseless gun violence in our communities,” Murphy said during a virtual meeting with the other governors. “When we work together as regional partners to enact regional solutions, we’re far better off than if we all go on our own.”
According to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, about 85 percent of the guns used in crimes recovered in the state between January and July came from outside the state.
“I believe this is going to give us and our law enforcement entities in each of our states the tools we need to be able to trace guns that are coming from other states,” Hochul said, adding later, “If Congress would simply allow us to share this nationally what a better place we would be, but in the meantime, this is where the states are the incubators.”
Murphy said he hopes the coalition will grow to include more states.
The White House praised the pact.
“This data-sharing agreement recognizes the reality that firearms cross state lines, and we therefore need a multijurisdictional approach to tackling gun violence,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “President [Joe] Biden shares these governors’ com….