NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Calls for action from police and community groups surrounding an increase in crime continue to go unanswered. Gov. Ned Lamont’s office told News 8 there is no immediate plan for legislative action, but, in the meantime, regional governors have signed an agreement to share gun crime data.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania announced Thursday that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to share crime gun data in an effort to prevent gun violence.
The five-year agreement allows law enforcement agencies from those four states to see “E-Trace” data, to share crime gun data across state lines in order to detect, deter, and investigate gun crime, as well as identify and apprehend straw purchasers, suspect dealers, firearms traffickers, and other criminals.
Governor Lamont told reporters, “We can track the gun we can track the DNA that goes to our database. We will try to get more of our municipalities as part of that database and then we share that with Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and we see what the origin of that gun or gun may have… trace it back to the big kahuna who is selling these things.”
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) already gives state and local law enforcement “E-Trace” reports. This new memo will direct states to send those reports to the others.
One of the largest gun violence prevention organizations in the country “Everytown for Gun Safety” applauds the action.
The state has sent trooper reinforcements to Hartford and New Haven after the mayor’s requested help with an increase in violence.
Does Gov. Lamont see this memo as part of a bigger legislative bill to tackle crime?
“Potentially – if there was something that was urgent and actionable,” he said.
Lamont added, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down courts, slowing down prosecutions. He’s hiring more judges. And car thefts “could be added to the list of serious crimes” – so suspects could be prosecuted quicker.