Lawmakers looking to create legal definition of what constitutes a mass shooting in NY

Lawmakers and leaders agreed that what qualifies as a mass shooting needs to be defined in order to create an avenue for more resources.

Adolfo Carrion and Shakti Denis

Mar 17, 2023, 10:00 PM

Updated 402 days ago

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Lawmakers are looking to specifically define what constitutes a mass shooting in New York state as part of the fight against gun violence.
Elected officials and anti-violence groups gathered Friday steps away from where 39-year-old Emmanuel Soray was gunned down and killed last weekend.  
“He was an amazing father of five, beautiful young children,” said Assembly Member Monique Chandler-Waterman. “He was a school bus driver transporting our community kids safely to and from school.” 
Soray was one of four people shot in a single shooting incident on East 45th Street near Church Avenue last Saturday.  
Leaders are proposing a legislative change that they say will help communities cope with the impacts of gun violence.  
“Today I'm going to introduce a legislation that's going to have that definition of what is a mass shooting when it comes to the Black and brown community,” said Chandler-Waterman.  
As of now, there is no statewide consensus on what defines a mass shooting. This proposed legislation would automatically classify any shooting incident with four or more victims as a mass shooting, unlocking access to a number of programs including emergency relief, crisis response, mental training and technical assistance.  
“The word mass shooting comes with resources, it comes with attention,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. “We’re trying to tell you that daily, Black and brown bodies are dropping from gun violence.” 


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