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4 northeast states — including Conn. and N.Y. — sign gun data pact

Craig LeMoult

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and have agreed to share gun crime data to help prevent crime. The governors of the four states signed the agreement on Thursday.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said the agreement would help local law enforcement deal with a spike in gun violence that has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the plan would target the major dealers in illicit guns.

“I want to go after the kingpins. I want to go after those pushers. I want to go after those big drug and gun wholesalers. Those big guns so to speak. And that's what this e-trace system allows us to do. We can track that gun back, see where it originates from, see what commonality there is and find the big guns that are pushing this out on the street,” Lamont said.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the agreement is a transformative tool that would help law enforcement better trace guns coming from other states. She said states currently do not share that info.

“If Congress would simply allow us to share this nationally, what a better place we would be. But in the meantime this is where the states are the incubators, so they are the ones that are the innovators that come up with policies — working collaboratively among ourselves we can do so much more together,” Hochul said.

The agreement allows law enforcement agencies from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to share data across state lines in order to detect, deter, and investigate gun crime.

Pennsylvania officials said 25% of traced crime guns in their area come from just three southern states — Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. They said those states have weak laws on gun purchases.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.