ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At the beginning of her press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul paused for a moment of silence for the 10 victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo. In an effort to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again, the governor announced several changes she wants to see made to New York law.
“I’m signing an executive order to establish a unit within the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services focusing exclusively on domestic terrorism,” she said. She’s now requiring state police to file an extreme risk order of protection under New York State’s Red Flag Law when they believe an individual is a threat to themselves or others.
“This executive order will also establish a domestic terrorism unit within our New York State Intelligence Center focusing on monitoring social media. Everyone is saying, how did this happen? This information was out there. The footprint the fingerprint was out there. We are going to ramp up these efforts intensely,” she said. She also proposed a package of gun laws, one of which would revise the definition of a firearm to include what are called “Any Other Weapons.”
Hochul wants these legislative changes made before the state legislature’s session ends in just a couple of weeks. The governor also made a referral to the New York State Attorney General’s Office to investigate social media platforms that broadcasted the Buffalo mass shooting, as well as sites that promote hate speech and the replacement theory.
Wednesday’s announcement followed her appearance in Buffalo alongside Pres. Joe Biden in the wake of a white supremacist claiming 10 lives in a mass shooting there. She called for a “national response” on gun control in light of the attack.