New York has made strides in the last six months in taking illegal guns off the streets and reducing the number of shootings across the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday said.
But at an event in Brooklyn, Hochul added there is more work to do, pointing to high-profile shootings in New York City and the Buffalo mass shooting two months ago that have rocked the nation and state. She called gun violence "a public health crisis" in New York.
"The insanity can end," Hochul said. "We can stop this. We're making a difference."
Hochul was in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn to tout the efforts by her administration to reduce gun violence as voters this election year have cited crime and public safety as a preminent concern for them. The governor, who is running for a full term this year, pointed to the millions of dollars in state aid New York is sending to community organizations.
That has allowed for the hiring of 150 additional community members to act as "credible messengers" across the state to help reduce gun violence in neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, New York has been working in an interstate coalition in the Northeast to stem the tide of illegal weapons flowing into New York, which law enforcement officials say have been used in the vast majority of gun crimes.
Hochul on Friday said the effort has made a difference in getting guns off the streets and reducing the number of shootings.
"In just six months, we've had more guns off the streets than we've had in 20 years," she said.
Hochul also pointed to the package of gun law measures she has approved in recent weeks, including licensing requirements for people to possess semiautomatic rifles, raising the age to possess one from 18 to 21. The state has also expanded the red flag law, which is meant to keep guns away from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
Weeks later, lawmakers and Hochul agreed to new requirements for concealed carry of firearms following a Supreme Court ruling that largley overturned a century-old law in New York.
New York is limiting where guns can be carried, restricting them in parks, schools, mass transit and other public gathering spaces. The state is also moving to tighten licensing requirements. Multiple lawsuits are being filed to challenge the law.