New York will establish a new research institute to investigate and better understand gun violence in an effort to find solutions to the ongoing devastation caused by guns on the state’s streets.

The Firearm Violence Research Institute will look into gun violence using scientific research methods, similar to those used to understand issues such as motor vehicle accidents, cancer, heart disease and tobacco research, Governor Kathy Hochul said in a press release.

Hochul has signed a new legislative packet establishing and funding the institute, and creating a mechanism that allows taxpayer gifts to support the institute’s work.   

She said New York has led the nation on implementing effective, common sense gun safety policies, and the new Firearm Violence Research Institute “further cements our commitment to fighting the scourge of gun violence.” 

“This institute will be a world-class hub for helping us understand the full scope of this ongoing crisis, providing the tools we need to save lives, keep our communities safe and put an end to the gun violence epidemic.”  

The new institute will work towards identifying solutions to gun violence and will build off of the work currently being done by SUNY, Hochul said. It will also work to find science-backed solutions in New York communities, and provide a deeper understanding of the problem to the public and policymakers. 

State Senator for Brooklyn’s 19th District, Roxanne Persaud, said nearly 20% of all shootings in New York City happened in her district, and she had long worked tirelessly with Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon to establish the institute — “today this critical effort comes to fruition.”

“Under this new law, SUNY’s tremendous research capacity will be employed to identify solutions to solve gun violence, a public health crisis that disproportionately impacts New Yorkers, and many in my district,” she said, adding that a number of anti-gun violence community groups were to thank.

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon added that gun violence was a uniquely American problem that was plaguing the country, adding that it was a public health issue.

“This legislation ensures a robust center for gun violence research to better understand and prevent gun-related violence, and it also allows citizens to easily contribute to these research efforts,” she said.

“Public policies related to major health and social concerns such as motor vehicle accidents, cancer, and tobacco have greatly benefited from in-depth research — and this legislation ensures the same approach with gun violence.”

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