Actually, Gov. Cuomo announced this program a year ago but nobody knew about it until a CBS station exposed it on Wednesday. In simple terms, the program uses taxpayer monies to reward those who think someone they know may possess an “illegal” gun. Here’s the language from the governor’s office, dated February 18, 2012:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence across the State. The initiative includes leveraging $2 million to develop community specific anti-gun violence strategies, launching a targeted advertising campaign, supporting effective community based violence intervention programs, and creating a toll-free tip line to encourage citizens to report illegal firearm possession. (my emphasis)
The 4-page announcement was mostly filled with joyous refrains from lefties such as Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senator Bill Perkins who thought that ratting out their neighbors was a great idea. This is from Stewart-Cousins:
More must be done to rid this blight from our neighborhoods and our state. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his bold new initiative to reduce gun violence and look forward to working with him to ensure a brighter future for all New Yorkers.
And from Perkins:
We cannot wait any longer – too many lives have already been destroyed by guns. We must work together to make sure our streets and cities are no longer afflicted by this devastating issue of gun violence.
This program has been in place for more than a year and is aimed only at getting illegal crime guns off the streets: a goal that every New Yorker can agree with.
. If someone knows of someone whom he suspects might be owning a gun illegally, he calls this tip line – 1-855-486-7697 or texts GUNTIP – where a state trooper will obtain all possible information about the alleged miscreant and then forward that information to the “appropriate” policy agency to “initiate an investigation.” If the “investigation” results in an arrest, the tipster gets a check for $500.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin called this out for what it is:
This initiative seeks to turn neighbor against neighbor and use their own tax dollars to pay for the $500 reward. Confiscating these once-legal firearms from law-abiding citizens and pitting neighbors against one another does nothing to address the root cause of violence with guns in our society: illegal handguns used by real criminals.
It’s a great tool for creating monstrous problems for innocents, however. Just by making an anonymous phone call, a trouble-maker can set the dogs after anyone he disagrees with, guilty or not. Governor Cuomo probably never thought of that, though. He’s really after the criminals. And I’m sure that his dogs will follow all the protections guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, too, such as obtaining a search warrant spelling out the “probable cause” and signed by a judge.