Governor Kathy Hochul today unveiled new data on gun seizures, gun tracing investigations and gun crime that indicate that the comprehensive efforts and strategic investments of the New York State’s fight against the gun violence epidemic is beginning to show signs of progress. The data includes a substantial year-over-year increase in state police firearm and phantom weapon seizures, both of which coincide with the formation of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns. The Governor also highlighted the first noticeable drop in gun crime in New York City in more than two years, with a 12% reduction in shootings over the past year. Outside of New York City, 20 jurisdictions participating in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative saw nearly a 7% drop in shootings from a year ago.
“With substantial state investment in gun violence prevention programs and unprecedented collaboration among law enforcement, we are beginning to see significant progress in our comprehensive efforts to eradicate gun violence from our communities. “, Governor Hochul said. “We are aggressively stepping up our efforts to remove lethal weapons – including phantom weapons – from our streets, and have developed hundreds of investigative leads spanning 22 states – work that has resulted in the first noticeable reduction in the gun violence in more than two years. This is undeniable progress, our work has only just begun. Following the Supreme Court’s irresponsible decision to strike down the “good cause” provision of New York on Concealed Carry, I am calling a special session of the Legislature tomorrow, where we will adopt a new policy that carefully regulates access to concealed carry permits within the bounds of the ruling My staff have worked with the Legislature 24 hours a day. 24 to get this done right. We will stop at nothing to protect New Yorkers.
“I join Governor Hochul in calling for legally sustainable, common sense gun laws that will keep New Yorkers safe,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “The Interstate Task Force on Illegal Weapons is making great strides, but more work needs to be done to ensure guns don’t fall into the wrong hands, and with the Legislature meeting this week, we hope to soon have sensible concealed carry laws in place to help protect New Yorkers on public transit and in businesses.”
Governor Hochul outlined these highlights at a press conference following an Interstate Illegal Weapons Task Force meeting at the New York State Intelligence Center in East Greenbush. The meeting included law enforcement officials from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Quebec, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the New York City Police Department. Key highlights include:
- Between January and June, state police seized 662 firearms. This represents a 98% increase over the same period last year.
- State arms seizures outside NYC (State Police + other jurisdictions outside NYC) increased 94% from 2020 and 40% from 2021.
- So far this year, state police have conducted 346 firearms tracing investigations. From those cases, they forwarded 70 investigative leads to 22 states. These cases are investigations of residents of these states arrested in New York for illegal possession and trafficking of firearms.
- Ghost gun seizures have increased 1800% since 2018, 212% since 2020 and 38% compared to the same period last year. Law enforcement agencies across the state have seized 360 ghost weapons since the start of the year. State police seized 65 ghost weapons in 2022, four more than those seized in 2021.
Data released in today’s announcement shows that better collaboration between cities, states and federal partners is starting to pay off, especially in New York City, which saw the first significant drop in gun violence since May 2020. State Police and DOCCS have been working closely with the NYPD and other partners through the Gun Violence Strategic Partnership (GVSP) and over the past year, murders in New York were down 13% and shootings were down 12%.
Local law enforcement is also making notable progress outside of New York. The state’s GIVE initiative—administered by the Division of Criminal Justice Services—provides state funding to local law enforcement agencies for personnel, equipment, training, and technical assistance . GIVE supports 20 departments in 17 counties that account for more than 80% of violent crime in the state outside of New York. Compared to last year, shootings involving injuries have decreased by almost 6% and the number of shooting victims has decreased by almost 7% in GIVE jurisdictions. The reduction in gun violence this year comes after significant increases in those jurisdictions in 2020 and 2021, including a 75% increase in shootings with injuries from 2019 to 2020. Working with the legislature, Governor Hochul secured funding of $18.2 million for GIVE in fiscal year 2023. State budget – the largest state investment in the program since its inception in 2014.
State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said: “With the leadership of the Governor and the continued support of the State Police, we continue to work with law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in New York State, in the Northeast and in Canada, to slow the tide of illegal guns finding their way into our communities.Our members are focused and determined to reduce gun violence, and we are encouraged by the progress we have made in recent months.
Criminal Justice Services Division Commissioner Rossana Rosado said: “The past two years have been extremely difficult for our GIVE partners and the communities they serve. They have seen firsthand the devastation caused by gun violence, but they also know that the evidence-based strategies implemented by GIVE are effective in reducing shootings and saving We thank Governor Hochul for her support and investment in this initiative and commend our law enforcement partners for the work they do every day to serve and protect their fellow citizens New Yorker.
Governor Hochul is calling a special session of the Legislature on Thursday, June 30 to pass new gun safety legislation in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Brun. The ruling overturned a 100-year-old legal precedent requiring individuals to show “good cause” to obtain a concealed firearm license. In response, the administration continues to work closely with the legislature to craft a new policy that will strictly and carefully regulate access to concealed carry permits while remaining within the bounds of the law.
Although the Supreme Court’s decision has long-term implications, it does not have an immediate impact on firearms licenses or permits. This means that people cannot immediately legally carry a concealed firearm without obtaining the currently required permits or licenses. Currently, the application process for obtaining a license or permit is unchanged. Those who wish to change their permit status to acquire an “unlimited carry” permit must file an application with their designated local licensing authority. Gun owners must continue to adhere to current restrictions.
Today’s announcement builds on Governor Hochul’s continued commitment to aggressively address the epidemic of gun violence in New York State. Earlier this month, the governor signed a landmark legislative package to immediately strengthen state gun laws and close critical loopholes exposed by shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde. The ten-bill package prohibits the sale of semi-automatic rifles to anyone under 21 by requiring a license, imposes restrictions on the purchase of body armor for anyone not in an eligible profession and strengthens the red flag law.
The state budget for fiscal year 2023 includes $227 million to fund bold initiatives that will bolster the gun violence prevention efforts of law enforcement and community organizations. It includes $13.1 million to expand the use of community stabilization units, $18 million in direct support to local law enforcement for gun violence prevention, $20 million for regional needs in gun violence aftermath and $3 million for the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.