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As gubernatorial election looms, Hochul says she's making changes to reduce crime

Gov. Kathy Hochul examining seized illegal guns, Aug. 4, 2022.
Darren McGee
/
Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul examining seized illegal guns, Aug. 4, 2022.

Gov. Kathy Hochul says she is cracking down on violence and crime in New York State.

One of her main efforts is stopping the flow of illegal guns through the state. New York State Police confiscated over two times the number of illegal guns this year compared to last year. These guns are usually sourced from states with less strict gun laws, then trafficked through upstate cities like Syracuse, and they eventually make their way to New York City. Hochul said she included $2.5 million in the state budget to support a police unit specializing in gun trafficking.

“This is about a real change. These are guns that are no longer in the hands of violent criminals who would use them to perpetrate a gun trade or their gang warfare against each or whatever purpose they had. They can’t do that now because those guns are right here, not on the streets of New York,” Hochul said.

Curbing violence in New York is a key issue for Hochul in the race for governor. Her opponent, Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, and other critics argue that the state’s bail reform laws passed by Democrats are making the state less safe. Hochul admits adjustments were needed, but argues her changes strengthen the laws.

“I was not leaving and passing a budget that did not have the ability for judges to consider more factors when they’re deciding whether not someone should be bail eligible or even arrest eligible. That we added more crimes back into consideration that had been removed particularly gun crimes, repeat offenders, major thefts, hate crimes,” Hochul said.

Hochul urges the public to be patient as the changes go into effect, and says it will take time to see a reduction in crime.