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Chuck Schumer seeks $1.5 billion to create an 'Interstate Gun Task Force'

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Photo by Connecticut State Police via Getty Images

On Sunday, United States Senator Chuck Schumer asked the federal government to provide a minimum of $1.5 billion to "help get illegal guns off the streets," per the New York Post.

Sen. Schumer is seeking these funds to create an "Interstate Gun Task Force on Illegal Guns," which is to be led by the current governor of New York, Kathy Hochul.

At the press conference where Schumer solicited these funds, Schumer said that the initiative will only succeed if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has the adequate financial backing to "choke off crime."

Schumer, the Empire State's senior senator, said, "I am pushing for $1.5 billion dollars in federal funds for the agency, so they can help with this work and do much more at the national level."

"Without the $1.5 billion … these plans will not have their full impact, and we need full impact to address the flow of these crime guns in our communities and across our state."

Schumer said, "The ABCs of beating back the scourge of gun violence depends on three federal letters: A, T, and F."

Two weeks ago, Gov. Hochul announced that her office is launching an initiative to get illegal guns off the streets of New York.

Hochul said, "We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to fight the scourge of illegal guns. Too many lives have been lost because of illegal firearms that should never have been on our streets."

The New York Post reports that the governor's office said it would work with its neighboring states as well as Ohio, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire to root out the source of illegal firearms used in crime.

Gov. Hochul's announcement came after the tragic death of rookie NYPD officer Jason Rivera. Officer Rivera and his partner Officer Wilbert Mora were ambushed while responding to a domestic call.

Hochul's task force — for which Senator Schumer requested the $1.5 billion —has representation from "more than 50 groups across New York and neighboring states."

The task force's goal is to "take on gun trafficking by jamming the pipeline." The task force is taking a data-centered approach by focusing its potential resources on "data-sharing crime gun tracing and intel gathering."

The state of New York has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. There are fewer than 200,000 civilians who are legally permitted to carry a firearm concealed in New York despite having nearly 20 million residents.

In spite of New York's strict gun control policies, it has a very high rate of violent crime. New York's leadership hopes that with this task force, it can curtail the recent rise in violence.

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