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Four States Form Coalition to Track Guns After 'Federal Government's Continued Inaction'

Four governors announced a coalition this week to attempt to stop out-of-state guns from coming into their localities with an information-sharing database to trace and intercept firearms.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo call their coalition "States for Gun Safety," and said their quad-state database will supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System and launch the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium.

Cuomo charged that the "federal government's continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread," and "has actually prevented the laws like the SAFE Act from being fully effective." That New York law requires universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for illegal gun use, mandates life in prison without parole for killing a first responder, and bans assault weapons.

Cuomo said the "groundbreaking partnership" to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines would "be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe."

"We cannot wait for Congress to act," said Murphy. "As states, we must work together to take the steps and enact the measures to protect our residents and our communities. But, even more importantly, a collective of states can take these steps together broaden the reach and impact of commonsense gun safety laws."

The information-sharing agreement will provide state law enforcement agencies with details on gun purchases and permit denials, including gun-owning disqualifications of having an arrest warrant, order of protection, "debilitating" mental health condition, or criminal history.

Cuomo's office said that "despite the passage of gun safety laws restricting the purchase and carry of firearms across the four states, the lack of federal regulations preventing individuals from purchasing guns in other states and transporting them across borders has undermined state legislation."