Once again, gun control is dominating the headlines. For years, whenever guns are brought up into the conversation, the typical response would be, “This is not the time.” Well, some states are growing tired of that answer, and are beginning to take matters into their own hands. These states are losing hope within the federal government and have adopted the mindset of, “If you want something done right, then you have to do it yourself.”

There comes a time where people need to act, and even if the changes are small, they could become the stepping stones for a future movement. The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are the founders of The Gun Safety Coalition. They have also been recently joined by the governors of Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut and Puerto Rico. In merely a week, this multistate coalition to combat gun violence has received some fierce reinforcements. “We refuse to allow federal inaction to enact commonsense, gun safety laws endanger the lives of our residents,” Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said.

The Gun Safety Coalition could be the first step towards a future with less gun violence. The participating states intend to pool resources and information to help stop gun trafficking and prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing guns. This crucial information would aid in the creation of a new database that would be used to supplement the existing federal government’s background check database. They will attempt to trace and intercept firearms to stop the flow of out-of-state weapons. The plan also calls for the creation of a cross-state task force to combat illegal gun trafficking and a new research consortium to examine gun violence. Lastly, members of the coalition intend to lobby the federal government to adopt additional gun safety measures, including universal background checks, and an assault weapons ban.

When people come together in unity over an important cause, the possibilities of what they can achieve are endless. According to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, “Our states collectively already have better gun safety laws than the federal government, and by working together to share information and bolster enforcement, we will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and better protect our communities.”

The tragedies that occur due to gun violence not only affect the survivors, they affect our entire country. As the New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, “Gun violence is not a New Jersey problem, a New York problem, a Connecticut problem, a Rhode Island problem, or a problem for any particular state or region – it is a national problem.”

No matter where one chooses to stand in this current debate, everyone can agree that gun violence has become too familiar and needs to be stopped. Change must be implemented, and The Gun Safety Coalition plans to the driving force towards a better, safer country.