New York Gov. Cuomo Announces Executive Order Declaring Gun Violence ‘Disaster Emergency’


Caroline Melear Contributor
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Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on gun violence Tuesday, declaring it a “Disaster Emergency.”

“Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we must treat it like one,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter. “This declaration will allow us to give the crisis the full attention & resources it deserves.”

Disaster emergency declarations are typically reserved for natural disasters and large scale incidents. The declaration will allow the state to redirect and expedite funds to communities it deems necessary, and is the first of its kind in the nation, according to NBC 4 New York.

New York City was enjoying its lowest crime rates in six decades before seeing a huge spike last summer, according to The New York Times.

The violent crime wave has continued, with shootings up 38% in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same time last year. The spike coincides with the Defund the Police movement’s rise in American politics, as well as general anti-cop sentiment. The political climate has resulted in mass resignations of law enforcement in the city.

“We went from COVID to the epidemic of gun violence” Cuomo said during his press conference.

In addition to redirecting funds, the order will open the door for individuals to sue gun manufacturers and sellers by deeming them a “public nuisance,” according to Bloomberg Law.

Cuomo’s announcement comes after a turbulent year of scandals and negative press.

Cuomo has come under intense scrutiny after it came to light that the governor’s office withheld data on nursing home deaths related to COVID-19 after placing infected patients in the assisted living facilities.

The governor was also embroiled in a #MeToo scandal after multiple women close to Cuomo came forward alleging inappropriate conduct.

Republicans have previously feared that Democratic politicians could declare an emergency in order to push regulations of firearms beyond the normal bounds of their office.

In 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Republicans, “That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that an emergency, Mr. President?” in reference to the first anniversary of the Parkland shooting. “I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well.”