Hochul promises gun reform, calls out social media sites following Buffalo shooting
Gov. Kathy Hochul promised to advance new gun control legislation following Saturday’s mass shooting at the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.
An 18-year-old white male allegedly killed 10 people and injured three others at the grocery store located on the city’s predominately Black East Side in an attack that authorities say was a hate crime.
Hochul arrived in Buffalo and addressed the media several hours later and shared some information about the gunman’s weapon. She said the firearm was legally purchased but modified with illegal magazines.
“We're going to find out where they came from, but they're actually for sale legally in the state of Pennsylvania. So it's not that hard to make that modification,” she said.
The Broome County home of the alleged gunman, Payton Gendron, is just seven miles from the Pennsylvania border. He has been charged with first-degree murder and remanded without bail.
As part of her State of the State earlier this year, Hochul acknowledged increasing gun violence and announced a three-part agenda, which includes funding law enforcement gun safety initiatives and partnering with neighboring states to crack down on gun trafficking.
Hochul said she had already planned to announce a new gun reform package this week prior to Saturday’s shooting.
“On Tuesday, in Albany, we had already planned to be announcing a comprehensive gun package to address further loopholes that exist in our laws,” she said. “We're doing everything we can to ensure that our laws are tight. They're ironclad to ensure that our law enforcement has the resources they need.”
The gunman livestreamed the shooting Twitch, a video streaming site that is typically used to live stream video games. The website said it removed the channel within two minutes of the shooting starting, but Hochul said social media outlets must be more vigilant.
“The fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings, could be livestreamed on social media platforms, and not taken down within a second says, to me, that there is a responsibility out there,” she said.
Hochul said she plans to continue work with local, state and federal authorities to identify similar messages online, adding that it is their “best defense right now.”
“We're going to continue to work on this and make sure that those who provide these platforms have a moral and ethical, and I hope to have, a legal responsibility to ensure that such hate cannot populate these sites,” she said.