Gov. Kathy Hochul says New York has made major progress in reducing gun violence. She says the rate has reached historic lows after declining for two straight years.

New York's Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative released data showing shooting incidents with injury and the number of shooting victims each decreased by more than 35% through April 2024. That's compared to the average from January to April over the last five years in the major metropolitan areas outside New York City. 

Hochul's office says the two years of progress show a 35% reduction in shootings, a 36% reduction in victims and a 37% reduction in deaths from 2021 to 2023. 

According to the data, New York City saw a 19% reduction in shooting victims and a 16% reduction in shooting deaths compared to the same time in 2023.

The information was reported by law enforcement agencies participating in the state’s GIVE initiative.

The chart below shows how gun violence has declined in each region of the state:

Courtesy: New York Division of Criminal Justice Services

Reports show Western New York and Long Island have had the most dramatic declines with 51% and 47% fewer shooting incidents, respectively, between 2021 and 2023. Central New York and Long Island have had the most accelerated decline through the first four months of this year with 68% and 58% fewer incidents, respectively, compared to the same time last year, according to Hochul.

“We enacted the toughest gun safety measures in the country and now we are seeing results: historic lows in gun violence across New York,” Hochul said“Public safety is my number one priority, and I will continue fighting to create meaningful results and keep New Yorkers safe.” 

This data is certainly good news for law enforcement officials and community members, showing recent efforts to target gun violence could be making a dent.

Policies like the community-focused SNUG program or law enforcement-based GIVE initiative get a lot of the credit from officials like Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler, who praised a teamwork approach.

"A prosecutor can't do it alone," Hoovler said. "A not-for-profit can't do it alone. The police department can't do it alone. But you team everybody up and you have a good funding stream that you're able to assist people and you have the services available to them, you can make a difference."

According to Hochul, the achievement follows a $347 million investment in efforts to reduce and prevent gun violence and the creation of the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns. Hochul says that has led to more than 3,302 illegal guns seized since the start of 2022 by the State Police alone. It eclipsed the total number of guns seized in the five preceding years, Hochul said.