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Gun policy author breaks down Hochul‘s new Interstate Task Force on illegal guns

Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke at Binghamton University's Health Sciences in Johnson City.
Mike Groll/
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke at Binghamton University's Health Sciences in Johnson City. Oct. 25, 2021.

A five time author on gun policy says Governor Hochul’s new Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns can be effective in the effort to help prevent the free flow of guns from other states. The program involves law enforcement across New York sharing gun trafficking data with other states. Bob Spitzer says it’s an important step since the nation lacks stricter guns laws and can also benefit Central New York.

”Now Governor Hochul wants to increase funding for those programs… wants to have them coordinated regionally around the State that’s she referring to as community stabilization units.  That also is the kind of effort that some studies have shown can be pretty effective in reducing gun violence in local areas including Syracuse and the surrounding area.”

Spitzer says New York State residents often drive to southern states to purchase between 75 to 90 percent of guns involved in crimes that police end up confiscating. He says another reason they travel elsewhere is New York has stricter laws compared to other states. However, Spitzer says the Governor’s Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns is focused more on criminality of trafficking.

"… And by spending more money and more effort on community based anti-gun violence initiatives which are programs that started to prove their worth before the pandemic hit.” 

Spitzer says the free flow of guns during interstate travel will never be stopped entirely because we live in a free society and can travel across state lines without being checked. Spitzer is also a Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science Emeritus at SUNY Cortland.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.