New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a first-in-the-nation disaster emergency over gun violence. The Democratic governor made the declaration in an executive order Tuesday, NBC New York reports. He outlined a seven-point plan for dealing with a surge in gun violence, including targeting hotspots and treating gun violence like a public health emergency. The governor said the plan will also include spending $138 million on intervention and prevention programs. Cuomo said the state had seen at least 51 shootings over the long weekend, including 26 in New York City, reports the BBC.
The declaration allows the state to quickly send money and other resources to gun violence hotspots. It comes less than two weeks after the state's coronavirus emergency declaration expired, and Cuomo said gun violence was just as severe a public health crisis, the New York Daily News reports. "If you can beat COVID, you can beat gun violence," the governor said. "We're in a new epidemic, and it’s gun violence, and it’s a matter of life and death also." ( Across the US, there were almost 200 fatal shootings during the holiday weekend.)