Gov. Tom Wolf joined efforts with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to share information about firearms purchases to help detect and investigate straw buyers and other crimes related to guns.
The chief executives of the neighboring northeastern states signed an agreement Thursday to exchange gun crime data for use only by law enforcement, with provisions governing security and mandated notice if the information is misused or improperly accessed.
The agreement allows law enforcement agencies from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut to share crime gun data across state lines in order to detect, deter, and investigate gun crimes, as well as identify and apprehend straw purchasers, suspect dealers, firearms traffickers, and other criminals.
“If we want to reduce the scourge of gun violence, we must work with partners in our communities, as well as our neighboring states, to curb the flow of illegal guns and those used to commit criminal acts,” said Governor Wolf according to the Pennsylvania Government website.
Today I’m joining governors from Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York in an agreement to share gun crime data across state lines.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) October 7, 2021
“Firearms trafficking networks frequently engage in criminal activities on an interstate basis, and in order to prevent gun violence in our communities, we must work collaboratively as a region,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement.
Governor Kathy Hochul. “This regional partnership will give law enforcement the resources they need to combat gun violence, save lives and make our communities safer,” stated Governor Kathy Hochul.
The threat of gun violence
“Working together, our states’ law enforcement agencies can collaboratively share critical gun crime data and directly confront the threat of gun violence and criminal activity,” said Governor Lamont.
The states plan to share details they get from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives through “eTrace” reports. They show who first bought and sold guns recovered during criminal investigations.
The entities involved in the agreement must notify each other if the information is misused, including unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, modification, storage or deletion.
The memorandum of understanding expires in five years but will automatically be renewed annually after that unless a state wants to get out.