Four Northeastern Governors Join Forces on Guns

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Murphy says he's working with the legislature to pass more gun safety laws in New Jersey. He says the four states already have tough gun laws but believes they can be stronger.

"There are people out there who should not have guns", Seeley said. "As states, we must work together to take the steps and enact measures to protect our residents and our communities". New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that shooting accelerated the governors' idea to form the coalition, which has been in the works for about a year. "What we are saying as governors, we're not waiting for Congress and the federal government to take action". Let's take it to the next step.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said part of the effort is to target guns sold within the "gun show loophole".

Students from across the country are rising up against gun violence in the aftermath of the Florida shooting. He said that information could be shared with the other states, along with state data about arrest warrants and protective orders that typically aren't included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check system.

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"The agreement, in accordance with federal and state privacy protections, will provide state law enforcement agencies with details on the firearm purchase or permit denials for those who are disqualified", a news release from Malloy's office elaborates.

Malloy said they are inviting other governors to also join the "States for Gun Safety" coalition.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo, a mother to two young children, said her 13-year-old daughter was watching some of the news coverage on Wednesday night and kept asking her mother, as she has done for the past week, what she was going to do about the situation. It is not clear how the other states would act on it, given that the law in CT and New Jersey, for example, expressly forbids firearm purchases only by people who have been committed to a mental health center. This groundbreaking consortium will fill the void left by the federal government's 1996 ban on the use of federal funds to study gun violence which has obstructed research efforts across the nation, including at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

Raimondo said she will also push legislation in Rhode Island to address laws that allow military-style weapons, that allow high-capacity ammunition magazines and that allow carrying a concealed weapon in schools and government buildings. Only 12 states require expanded background checks at gun shows for handguns as well as rifles and shotguns, according to the Brady Campaign, a gun control group.