New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) signed executive orders on Wednesday, a day after meeting with Joe Biden and lawmakers, to enforce more state gun control laws following the mass shooting in Buffalo last Saturday, leaving 10 people dead.
Governor Hochul signed executive orders to combat gun violence and domestic terrorism, and investigate social media platforms promoting violent extremism. Hochul said during a press conference, “Domestic terrorism is the most significant threat we face as a state and as a nation so we’re fighting back with a statewide approach.”
NEW: We’re proposing a comprehensive plan to combat domestic terrorism, strengthen state gun laws, & investigate social media platforms promoting violent extremism.
In wake of the racist act of terror in Buffalo, New York will lead the charge to confront this epidemic head-on.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) May 18, 2022
“The horrific and despicable act of terror committed by a white supremacist this past weekend in Buffalo showed that we as a country are facing an intersection of two crises: the mainstreaming of hate speech – including white nationalism, racism and white supremacy – and the easy access to military-style weapons and magazines,” Governor Hochul said in her press release.
“Today, I issued Executive Orders to devote substantial resources and focus toward combating the troubling surge in domestic terrorism by identifying radicalized individuals and tracking their threats amplified on social media, and further empower State Police to keep guns away from dangerous people. I am also issuing a referral letter to the Attorney General to investigate social media’s role in the Buffalo shooting, and am calling for the passage of several pieces of legislation that will help law enforcement get more guns off the street,” Hochul added.
Hochul’s first executive order is to establish a new unit responsible for the prevention of domestic terrorism, within the Division’s Office of Counter-Terrorism. This EO also calls to establish a dedicated unit within the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC) to track domestic violent extremism through social media.
Her second executive order will allow state police to seize firearms aggressively whenever they believe that an individual is a threat or prevent gun purchases by potential threats under New York State’s Red Flag Law.
Read her full press release here.