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NY Gov. Hochul announces plan to combat domestic terrorism, House passes bill

Gov. Hochul says the plan will combat domestic terrorism, strengthen state gun laws and investigate social media platforms that promote violence extremism.

NEW YORK — New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a plan to help combat domestic terrorism and gun violence following a mass shooting in Buffalo. 

Ten people were killed and three injured when a gunman opened fire at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue. Eleven of the victims were African American. 

On Wednesday night Sen. Chuck Schumer said the House passed the bill to combat domestic terrorism. The Senate will vote on the legislation next week.

Hochul says the plan will combat domestic terrorism, strengthen state gun laws and investigate social media platforms that promote violent extremism.

"Domestic terrorism is the most significant threat we face as a state, and we are fighting back - doing whatever it takes to save lives," Hochul said in a tweet.  "I hope that what happened in Buffalo is a wake-up call for this country. In New York, we're saying 'no more.'" 

Hochul says she issued a referral to New York State Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the social media platforms that live-streamed the mass shooting, and "legitimized replacement theory'.

"Social media platforms must take responsibility and be held accountable for favoring engagement over public safety," said Hochul in a press conference.

“The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate,” said Attorney General James in a release. “The fact that an individual can post detailed plans to commit such an act of hate without consequence, and then stream it for the world to see is bone-chilling and unfathomable. As we continue to mourn and honor the lives that were stolen, we are taking serious action to investigate these companies for their roles in this attack. Time and time again, we have seen the real-world devastation that is borne of these dangerous and hateful platforms, and we are doing everything in our power to shine a spotlight on this alarming behavior and take action to ensure it never happens again.”

Credit: NY Governor's office
NY Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a plan to combat domestic terrorism and gun violence (Photo: Courtesy of NYS Governor's office)

Hochul also referenced New York's red flag laws, which were enacted in 2019 to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who are a threat. 

It allows prosecutors, police, family members, and educators to seek a civil order from a State Supreme Court justice to have someone's guns taken away if they're deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

The New York State Police will now be required to file an 'Extreme Risk Protection Order" when they believe a person is a threat to themselves or others. 

Hochul is also calling on state lawmakers to pass bills that will close loopholes in current laws and provide police with more tools to fight gun violence.

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