Four states have created a new coalition to combat gun violence following the school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14.
The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island announced the creation of the regional task force called States For Gun Safety during a conference call on Thursday.
The task force includes state law enforcement officials, intelligence officials, and other agencies that will share information, study gun violence, and work on intercepting illegal firearms.
“Here in New York, we’re proud to be home to the nation’s strongest gun safety law. However, the federal government’s continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread, but it has actually prevented the laws like the SAFE Act from being fully effective,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
“Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, New York is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands. Not only will this groundbreaking partnership take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines, but by forming the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, we will be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe.”
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said that working together as a region makes sense in the current environment.
More proof that states are leading the way on gun violence: @GovMurphy @NYGovCuomo @GovMalloyOffice and @GovRaimondo announce a States for Gun Safety coalition that will work together to protect families and communities from gun violence. #CourageToFight https://t.co/4Xpz19rg3h
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) February 22, 2018
Officials said that the states would share information about people who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm within each state, according to the statement.
The four states will also work together to trace the use of out-of-state guns in crimes in order to intercept criminals taking illegal guns across state borders.
The announcement also included a plan for the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, which will feature experts across public policy, criminal justice, social welfare, and public health.
I will always remember the time I spent today with courageous students, teachers and families. So much love in the midst of so much pain. We must not let them down. We must keep our children safe!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
The announcement comes the day after two town hall meetings, one hosted by CNN and the other hosted by President Donald Trump at the White House.
Potential solutions to mass shootings at schools included banning AR-15s, stricter background checks, and arming teachers in schools.