Hochul to convene illegal guns task force after NYPD killing

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Sunday that her office’s newly formed task force targeting illegal guns will meet for the first time Wednesday — days after a rookie NYPD cop was killed and another officer critically wounded with a stolen firearm.

“We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to fight the scourge of illegal guns on our streets,”  Hochul said in a statement. “Too many lives have been lost because of illegal firearms that should never have been on our streets.”

The Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, which is being created in partnership with the NYPD and Mayor Eric Adams, was first announced at the governor’s State of the State address.

The committee will convene law-enforcement officials from across New York to “share intelligence and strategies” that can stop the trafficking of illegal guns, officials said.

The new state task force will also convene with neighboring states as well as Ohio, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
Christopher Sadowski

The governor’s office said it will work with neighboring states as well as Ohio, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire to figure out where the guns are coming from. 

Hochul’s task force found new urgency after last week, when rookie Officer Jason Rivera, 22, was fatally gunned down during a domestic call Friday in Harlem. His police partner Wilbert Mora, 27, continued to fight for his life at NYU Langone hospital Sunday.

Law enforcement sources told the Post that suspect Lashawn McNeil used an illegal Glock handgun with a “high-capacity magazine” to shoot the two officers and had a loaded AR-type weapon stashed under his bed.

Dozens of guns of different types are laid on a table.
New York State police recovered more than 1,070 illegal guns in 2020, most of which came from the south.
Queens DA

Hochul asked for $9 million in the new budget for New York State Police to expand and hire new recruits and gun-tracing analysts. She said she’ll give the state police $4 million to buy software that will track illegal guns. 

More than 1,070 illegal guns were recovered last year, the state police said, and stats from the NYPD show that many of the illegal weapons come from the South, particularly Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.