Interstate Gun Task Force has seized over 6,000 illegal guns since January

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Governor Kathy Hochul was in New York City Wednesday to talk about the rate of illegal gun seizures by police across the state. Hochul says the guns are being removed thanks to the help of federal partners.

News10NBC takes a look at some of these numbers, and what’s happening here in the City of Rochester.

Hochul says as far as getting these guns off the streets, she’d rather be in the crime prevention business than in the crime-solving business, and this is what it’s all about.

“We’ve seen too many lives destroyed by the ravages of gun violence inflicting our communities from here, and across upstate,” said Hochul.

She says as a result of the state’s “Interstate Gun Task Force” more than 6,000 illegal guns have been seized by police since January. Hochul says the task force which includes federal agencies like the ATF is the first of its kind.

“No other part of the country is doing this, this collaboration we are now working across borders getting guns off the street and keeping safe,” said Hochul.

She says total seizures this year increased 20 percent from January to July, but there’s more in terms of numbers.

“State police have seized from August 2021 to July 2022 14, almost 1,500 guns. That’s compared to 600 guns in the same time period. 1,500 guns versus 600, that’s a 140-percent increase. That’s the highest number of guns seized in our state’s history,” said Hochul.

The number of crimes committed with illegal guns here in the City of Rochester was also discussed by State Public Safety Director Marcos Gonzalez Soler.

“The Governor was in Rochester, highlighting there. We went there working with Rochester, and in one month we re-compared Rochester this August to last August we were down 50 percent, but we’re not looking at the short period of time. What we’re looking at is a long term, because this is a long-term strategy,” said Hochul.

Despite the recent rise in shootings, Hochul says there’s a decline in those numbers as well.

“I met with all the leaders July 29th, everybody involved to find out what was happening in Rochester, and as a result of a coordinated effort again this is one month, but shootings had been the previous 3 weeks were 32 shootings. I looked at the last, previous 3 weeks, the last 3 weeks since we’ve met it’s 15,” said Hochul.

The Interstate Task Force is made up of law enforcement representing every state in New England, as well as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.