Hochul announces push for more gun control, social media surveillance, ‘This is just a start’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As part of her response to the Buffalo shooting rampage, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is launching a new push for gun control and to crack down on extremists.

"This is just a start, what we’re doing here,” the governor said on Wednesday.

As the governor signed a series of executive orders, she declared that this new initiative was in the works before the bloodshed in Buffalo made it urgent.

"The governor’s executive actions and legislative proposals will prevent hate-motivated gun violence,” exclaimed Rebecca Fisher with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence who joined the governor.

The governor’s new push would establish a state domestic terrorism unit to start new cooperation that may not exist now between police, and mental health and educational professionals to head off potential violent extremists.

“This coordination is critical. It does not exist right now,” Hochul said “It does not exist and these stakeholders need to be communicating and sharing information so… guess what! They can start to connect the dots.”

Another executive order requires that State Police file for Extreme Risk Protection Orders" to keep potentially dangerous people from getting guns. Previously that was a decision left up to the police.

She also wants state control over some gun gray areas.

The governor is asking lawmakers to pass a bill to cover "other weapons," firearms that because of details of their makeup, like stock size, grips or lack of them, or barrel length, don’t currently fall under the current legal definition of guns for the application of measures like the SAFE Act.

She’s also calling for a law to require "microstamping" to make sure every bullet can be traced back to the gun that fired it.

The governor is also directing Attorney General Letitia James to investigate social media platforms for the speech that they let appear online, as well as online hosting venues like Twitch, which live-streamed part of the Buffalo shooting rampage.

"There is a feeding frenzy going on in social media that hate just breeds more hate,” she said. “My own state is going to lead in the surveillance of the social media hate crime, hate speech that’s out there.”