Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
The governor said that his state won’t “stand by and wait for Washington to take action against the gun violence and school shootings that have become all too common in this country.”
By Forum Staff
Governor Andrew Cuomo this week set out on a statewide bus tour to trumpet the Red Flag Gun Protection Bill he drafted earlier this month.
Also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order Bill, the measure would prevent individuals determined by a court to have the potential to cause themselves or others serious harm from purchasing, possessing, or attempting to purchase or possess any type of firearm, including handguns, rifles, or shotguns.
“New York will not stand by and wait for Washington to take action against the gun violence and school shootings that have become all too common in this country,” Cuomo said on Monday.”Parents should not have to fear sending their children to school every day and teachers should not have to wonder if they will return home from work. Together, we can and will pass this common sense gun legislation and we will continue to fight to ensure gun violence has no place in this great state.”
If approved by the Legislature, the bill would make NY the first state in the country to empower its teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.
Under current Empire State law, guns may be removed from a person subject to a temporary order of protection issued by a criminal or family court, but a court can only issue a temporary order of protection in connection with a criminal or family offense proceeding, according to the administration. There is no law on the books in New York that enables a court to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is believed to pose a severe threat of harm to himself, herself, or others unless that person has also been accused of a crime or family offense.
The Red Flag proposal, Cuomo noted, would provide all necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process while ensuring that incidents like the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the mass killing at the Waffle House in Nashville, Tenn., in April are not repeated. In both of those cases, the shooter was reported by multiple sources to be disturbed and dangerous yet was allowed to purchase and possess deadly firearms. An extreme risk protection order could have prevented deaths, Cuomo said.
Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn) said the Red Flag Gun Protection Bill “will save lives.”
“When a person exhibits warning signs that they pose a risk of serious harm to themselves or others, teachers, school administrators and family members often observe these signs firsthand. But in New York, even if these concerns are reported, law enforcement may have no authority to act and help prevent gun violence tragedies,” added Simon, chairwoman of the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety. “A temporary Extreme Risk Order of Protection would restrict a person’s access to firearms if they pose a serious risk, while providing due process protections and the right to appeal.”