NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a first-in-nation domestic terrorism law that would include mass violence motivated by hate.
Under the Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act, mass shootings against a group of people based on their race, religion or sexual orientation, gender identity and ancestry would face the same punishment as other terroristic crimes — up to life in prison without parole.
"We are living in a recurring American nightmare," Cuomo said.
He called on the federal government to enact a new federal terrorism law that would define acts of domestic terror committed on U.S. soil as terrorism.
"The devastation of these continuing horrific events leaves us grasping for words," he said, "and politicians' expressions offering "thoughts and prayers" are now almost insulting when they should be taking action and passing laws.
When we look back on this era, we will see that this has been one of the most polarizing and divisive in our history, a society indelibly scarred by the toxic cocktail of guns and hate."
Cuomo reiterated the fact that issues on the safety of the country and gun control is no time for a "democratic division or legislative baby steps" and that President Donald Trump should stop dividing and start unifying.
"Expose the President's failure of leadership and political pandering by providing a clear alternative. And in turn, give Americans a real choice," he said.
The proposed law comes nearly two weeks after a gunman opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people.
The gunman later confessed to officers while he was surrendering and later explained that he had been targeting Mexicans, authorities say.