NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has taken firm legislative action in the wake of the Buffalo mass shooting. She signed a series of executive orders on Wednesday to combat hate speech and gun violence.
Her new legislation creates a counterterrorism unit exclusively focused on domestic terror and strengthens the state’s Red Flag law, which now requires state police to file a claim restricting weapon use by people who are a threat to themselves or others.
Hochul also advocated for a host of new state gun control laws, including banning gray-area guns designed to get around local laws, like the modified weapons Payton Gendron used in the massacre that expanded his magazine capacity. She said acts like Gendron’s, ones of homegrown domestic terror, are the state’s biggest threat.
Attorney General Letitia James is also launching an investigation into the social media platforms Gendron used, like Twitch, where he livestreamed the shooting. She’s also investigating Discord, the chat platform where Gendron posted his racist manifesto, according to officials. Discord confirmed on Wednesday that Gendron granted access to a small group of people to read his manifesto about half an hour prior to the attack.
Additionally, a 911 dispatcher may soon be out of a job for reportedly hanging up on a store employee who was hiding during the shooting. According to the Buffalo News, the employee was whispering on the phone so Gendron didn’t hear her. She said the dispatcher yelled at her, asked why she was whispering, and then hung up. The dispatcher is now on leave, according to officials.
Gendron is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. At his initial court appearance last week, Gendron’s court-appointed lawyer entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.