Trenton - New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Delaware Governor John Carney, and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló today announced the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, a key initiative of the historic “States for Gun Safety” coalition between New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Puerto Rico.
The consortium brings the thought leaders and top researchers from partner states together to undertake significant new research on all manners of gun violence, data collection and analysis across multiple disciplines. This unprecedented effort will provide the public, including policymakers, with new information to ultimately reduce the scourge of gun violence. This groundbreaking consortium fills the void left by the federal government's 1996 ban on the use of federal funds to study gun violence, which has obstructed research efforts across the nation, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
Governor Phil Murphy said, “Despite having some the toughest gun laws in the nation, New Jersey has suffered from roughly 80 percent of our gun crimes being committed with a gun trafficked across our borders. We’re losing young people across our state to the senseless epidemic of gun violence as Congress sits idly by on this issue. Those of us at the state and local level are taking matters into our hands to curb violence in our communities. That’s why I’m proud to join my fellow governors in creating the nation’s first regional gun violence research consortium.”
"New York is proud to have the nation's strongest gun safety laws,” Governor Cuomo said. “The federal government's continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread, but it has left it to the states to provide the leadership needed to confront this problem head on. The consortium is a major step in our multi-state partnership to research responsible gun safety legislation and take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines.”
Governor Dannel P. Malloy said, “Gun violence is a public health emergency, and it should be treated as such. Connecticut has been a national leader in addressing this epidemic. By working together with like-minded states, we can take strides toward understanding the root causes of violence and determine the most effective prevention strategies. Connecticut has reduced violent crime at a faster rate than any state in the nation since we passed our commonsense gun legislation in 2013. This coalition is a critical step to building upon this progress.”
Governor Gina M. Raimondo said, “While Washington continues to drag its feet, in Rhode Island we’re stepping up and taking decisive action to keep our communities safe. This week I was proud to take part in the first meeting of Rhode Island’s new Gun Safety Working Group, which will help create an action plan for gun reform. The efforts of this new multi-state consortium will further bolster our work with meaningful research to help guide action on reforms across all of our states. I thank my fellow governors for their efforts and look forward to seeing the research developed by the consortium.”
Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts is pleased to have some of the nation’s strongest gun control laws and looks forward to working with other states to enhance information sharing across state lines to provide state officials and law enforcement with more resources to keep our communities safe.”
Governor John Carney said, “Working together, states can and should directly confront the threat of gun violence. This new consortium will provide new information and research about gun violence to inform policy discussions at the state and federal levels. Better information will help us enforce laws already on the books, intercept the flow of illegal weapons across state borders, and take additional action that will make a real difference. Delaware is proud to be a part of this coalition, and I thank my fellow Governors for their leadership on this issue.”
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said, "Puerto Rico is proud to have some of the strongest regulations of permits to possess guns in the United States. At the same time, we are fighting against illegal guns in the Island. I believe this consortium of states to promote shared knowledge will go a long way towards raising awareness about the direct relationship between uncontrolled access to guns and acts of violence. This is an important step towards ending in the senseless massacres that have claimed the lives of innocent people in public institutions and schools.”
The consortium will operate between the multiple states involved, harnessing the collective research and expertise for collaborative activities among individual universities and departments. In addition to new research, the consortium will also create a central clearinghouse of existing data from institutional, federal, and multi-state sources for public use.
This month marks the anniversary of two of our country’s most tragic mass shootings that are etched into the history of our society; it was eleven years ago this week that 32 people lost their lives on the campus of Virginia Tech University, and 19 years ago, 13 people were tragically killed at Columbine High school.
Listed below are the scholars from the states who are leading the consortium. A full link with their biographies is available here.