HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WPRI) — The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island are forming a coalition of like-minded states on gun control, hoping to make progress where they see the federal government has faltered.
“It’s time to take action and that’s what we’re doing,” Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said.
The four Democrats announced Thursday the formation of “States for Gun Safety,” about a week after the mass shooting at a Florida high school. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says that shooting accelerated their idea to form the coalition, which has been in the works for about a year.
Raimondo said they don’t want to wait for the federal government to act.
“When my kids say, ‘What are you doing about it?’ I want to say I’m doing something,” Raimondo said. “We need Congress to act but in the meantime, there are concrete things we can do to protect our families.”
The governors say the cross-state task force will trace and intercept illegal guns, step up intelligence and information sharing among the states and create a regional gun violence research consortium.
The proposal is already drawing support from one of Raimondo’s re-election opponents, conservative independent Joe Trillo.
“From everything you’re telling me, that’s fine, that’s fine. I mean, if we can work with other states, that’s good,” Trillo said.
They’ll be urging others to join the coalition at this weekend’s National Governors Association meeting.