Pennsylvania and New Jersey join multistate effort to stop gun violence

Screenshot of a press conference with Govs. Tom Wolf and Phil Murphy, where they have joined an effort to share gun violence data with other states. (Gov. Murphy / Twitter)

Screenshot of a press conference with Govs. Tom Wolf and Phil Murphy, where they have joined an effort to share gun violence data with other states. (Gov. Murphy / Twitter)

The governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are teaming up with their counterparts in New York and Connecticut in a multistate effort to share gun crime data.

Govs. Tom Wolf, Phil Murphy, Kathy Hochul, and Ted Lamont have signed a memorandum of understanding to share the data in an effort to end gun violence across state lines. The agreement allows law enforcement agencies from the four states to exchange the information so they can investigate and prevent gun crimes, as well as identify straw purchasers and firearms traffickers.

“This is a coalition that I believe should grow — and it will grow as we welcome in more of our fellow governors and fellow states,” Murphy said at a virtual joint press conference Thursday.

Wolf said he’s glad to partner with Pennsylvania’s neighbors to close the illegal gun pipeline.

“If we want to reduce the scourge of gun violence, we have got to work together in ways that we have not before. We have got to work with our partners within our states and in our communities and also with each other. And I think this could be a very powerful and innovative way to approach this issue,” Wolf said.

Philadelphia’s gun violence and homicide rates have risen to historic levels in the last two years. Wolf noted that the pandemic has exacerbated gun violence by taking vital safety nets away from communities that rely on them, and that it had an influence in Pennsylvania’s gun violence rates, especially in communities of color.

Though this four-state collaboration essentially gives more resources to police agencies, Wolf noted the need for investment in anti-violence community and grassroots groups.

At the end of last month, Philadelphia officials announced close to $900,000 in microgrants going to community groups working in gun violence prevention.

The announcement came just days after the city recorded its 400th homicide.

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