Republican state legislators react to Cuomo’s emergency declaration on gun violence

Staff Reports Posted 7 July 2021 at 4:54 pm

‘Until the governor admits bail reform was a failed experiment with deadly consequences, I fear the terrible violence in our communities will persist.’ – Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday declared a state of emergency due to a surge in gun violence in the state.

Republicans in the State Legislature have responded to Cuomo’s declaration, faulting him and the majority in the Legislature for recent criminal justice reforms.

State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt issued this statement: “Days after finally relinquishing his emergency powers, the Governor has declared another emergency. The crisis in cities across our state today directly correlates with the passage of the disastrous bail and other criminal justice ‘reforms,’ and out-of-control Parole Board that has released countless murderers and other dangerous criminals, and calls by democrats to defund our police.

“These heinous acts of violence and the victims affected deserve real solutions — not political grandstanding.”

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay: “On the issue of Andrew Cuomo’s gun violence disaster emergency, there is very little difference between New York’s status as ‘first in the nation’ and ‘worst in the nation.’ The governor’s decision to issue yet another executive order and declare gun violence a public health emergency is another example of his incessant need to circumvent the Legislature and dictate policy from his bully pulpit.

“His announcement ignores the reality that crime rates have spiked across the state in almost direct correlation with liberals’ consistent passage of pro-criminal policies that return violent offenders to the community and undermine the efforts of police to do their jobs.

“The executive order is an admission that the measures New York Democrats have advanced – on guns, on crime, on violence – have completely failed. Andrew Cuomo and his friends fail to acknowledge that getting guns off the streets will have very little impact until there’s a commitment to keeping criminals off the streets as well.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia: “This emergency declaration is yet another instance of the governor going above our heads in the Legislature to haphazardly expend funds aimed to try and solve the wrong root problem.

“The reason for the rise in crime as of late is no mystery, and until the governor admits bail reform was a failed experiment with deadly consequences, I fear the terrible violence in our communities will persist. Our constitutional freedom to own guns isn’t the problem that’s causing this violence, it’s the dangerous revolving-door the governor has created in our penal system that’s giving dangerous individuals more opportunities than ever to harm the innocent, or victims of their previous crimes.”