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Gov. Cuomo issues executive order declaring 'disaster emergency' on issue of gun violence

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'Illegal immigration is not killing Americans. Illegal guns are killing Americans,' Cuomo claimed during remarks on Tuesday.

Brendan McDermid-Pool/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the issuance of an executive order declaring a "disaster emergency" on the matter of gun violence.

"Today I am issuing an Executive Order declaring a Disaster Emergency on gun violence. Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we must treat it like one. This declaration will allow us to give this crisis the full attention & resources it deserves," the Democrat official tweeted.

During remarks on Tuesday Cuomo discussed various plans to combat gun violence in the Empire State, including a "border war" to block firearms from flowing in from other states.

The New York State Police "will form a new Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit to stop the flood of illegal guns coming into NY from states with weak gun laws," Cuomo tweeted.

While delivering remarks on Tuesday the governor claimed that "we wasted so much time and money in this nation fighting illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is not killing Americans. Illegal guns are killing Americans."

Cuomo, who has served as governor of New York for more than a decade, described gun violence as a civil rights issue.

"Gun violence is a major civil rights issue today. Yes, education, yes employment, yes discrimination, but also gun violence. Gun violence is hitting the black and brown communities hardest and it's compounding the damage from COVID," he said.

Another avenue through which the state will seek to tackle the problem is through funding summer employment opportunities for at-risk youth.

Cuomo said that more people were shot over July 4th weekend than had passed away from coronavirus: At least 51 people were shot over the weekend in the state compared to 13 COVID-19 fatalities, according to text on screen which accompanied the governor's remarks.

"If you can beat COVID, you can beat gun violence, you can beat poverty, you can beat drug abuse, you can beat whatever you wanna beat. We just have to want to do it," Cuomo said. Earlier during his remarks the governor had described gun violence as an "epidemic" and said that "it's a matter of life and death also."

Governor Cuomo Signs First-in-the-Nation Gun Violence Disaster Emergency to Build a Safer New York www.youtube.com

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