Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, proposed a new law Thursday which would define “hate-fueled murder with the intent to cause mass casualties” as an act of domestic terrorism.
The Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act would allow for the same penalties in New York as currently defined terrorist acts: up to life in prison without parole. Cuomo made the announcement Thursday afternoon in New York City.
“American citizens who are radicalized – not by a foreign ideology – but rather radicalized by hate for other Americans – are still terrorists,” the governor said. “Today, our people are three times more likely to suffer a terrorist attack launched by an American than one launched by a foreigner.”
Cuomo referenced a number of mass shootings, including the most recent in El Paso, Texas that left 22 dead. He criticized the federal government for being “politically paralyzed.”
“The president said after El Paso that mental illness pulls the trigger,” Cuomo said. “The president says a lot of things. But, the president knows the obvious truth. If there is no gun, there is no trigger. His partisan political self-interest has trumped his responsibility to protect the public.”
The governor also called on the federal government to enact its own domestic terrorism law which includes a ban on the types of weapons used to perpetrate these crimes. However, he said where Congress will not act, the state will.