The majority of the money – $ 76 million – will be used to create some 21,000 jobs and other activities for young people considered to be at risk of being victims or perpetrators of gun violence.
In a press release, the governor’s office linked the outbreak of gun violence to the “destabilizing impact” of disruption to school and work caused by the pandemic, and cited unspecified research that found that summer jobs reduced the likelihood of young people being involved in violence. by 45 percent.
The bill also sets up a state police unit that would intercept firearms crossing the state border, an effort the governor has called a “border war.” Mr Cuomo also said he wanted to expand a statewide model of hospital-based intervention in the Bronx, where conflict mediators try to deter victims from shooting retaliation.
The announcement comes as local, state and federal officials have begun to shift their focus from the declining coronavirus pandemic to the surge in gun violence. President Biden has proposed spending $ 5 billion on neighborhood violence prevention efforts and strike forces that would be sent to cities across the country to target gun traffickers. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and city council agreed to a budget that added $ 200 million to the police department’s budget, primarily for police overtime, and $ 100 million to police programs. fight against violence under the mayor’s office.
After the announcement, the governor signed a law that would allow victims of gun violence to sue firearm manufacturers under state nuisance laws, as well as a measure that would prohibit those with the subject of active criminal warrants to purchase firearms.
Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at Princeton University, said the governor’s plan invests heavily in strengthening neighborhood anti-violence organizations, targeting gun circulation and changing the way police do their jobs and strengthen trust in the communities it serves. Uniting these efforts under one office, he said, “is crucial to ensure that everyone works together towards the common goal of ending gun violence.”
The governor’s announcement came the same day New York City launched its summer jobs program for young people, with 7,500 slots. The program was canceled last year amid the pandemic, but returned as part of the city’s plan to tackle gun violence, Safe Summer NYC.