STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO ON RED FLAG LAW GOING INTO EFFECT TODAY
"The scourge of gun violence and mass shootings plaguing the United States in recent years is only getting worse, and it is fueled in part by Washington's failure to keep deadly firearms out of the hands of people who threaten violence against others.
"New York has led the charge to end this madness by passing the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, including the Red Flag Law that was enacted this year and goes into effect today. This law makes New York the first state in the nation to empower teachers, law enforcement and family members to pursue court intervention when they believe someone is a danger to themselves or others.
"Nearly half of all perpetrators of mass shootings exhibit warning signs before the shooting; this new law will help keep guns away from those dangerous people in the first place and prevent needless tragedies.
"This is a big step forward for common sense gun safety, and it is time for the federal government to follow New York's lead. My message to President Trump and Senate Republicans is simple: Stop kowtowing to the NRA. Enact a national Red Flag Law now. Lives depend on it."
Law was signed in February:
GOVERNOR CUOMO, JOINED BY SPEAKER PELOSI, SIGNS REDFLAG GUN PROTECTION BILL
Fulfills Promise to Sign RedFlag Bill—A Central Part of Governor's 2019 Justice Agenda—Within First 100 Days of New Legislative Session
Legislation Prevents Individuals Who Show Signs of Being a Threat to Themselves or Others from Purchasing or Possessing Guns
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, today fulfilled his promise to sign the RedFlag Bill, a key component of his 2019 Justice Agenda, within the first 100 days of the new legislative session. The RedFlag Bill, also known as the extreme risk protection order bill, prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm. This legislation builds on New York's strongest in the nation gun laws and makes New York the first in the United States to empower its teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.
"The United States loses more people to gun deaths than most developed nations. The first year of President Trump's administration, we lost 40,000 people to gun deaths - the highest number in 50 years. New York led the way by passing the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, but more must be done to end this carnage," Governor Cuomo said. "Today New York is proud to pass the first-in-the-nation RedFlag Bill that empowers school teachers to do something when they believe something bad is going to happen. We are empowering teachers not by giving them guns like the President wants - but by arming and empowering them with the law, so when a teacher or family member sees there is a problem, they can go to a judge and get a court-ordered evaluation. The RedFlag Bill will save lives and doesn't infringe on anybody's rights and it is common sense."
No law currently exists in New York State that enables a court to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is showing redflags, like violent behavior, or 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. In addition, no state in the nation currently empowers its teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.
The RedFlag Bill provides all necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process while ensuring that tragedies, like the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, are not repeated. In this mass shooting, the shooter was reported by multiple sources to be disturbed and dangerous yet was allowed to purchase and possess deadly firearms. In fact, more than half of all perpetrators of mass shootings exhibit warning signs before the shooting, according to a recent analysis. In these cases, an extreme risk protection order could have prevented countless, needless deaths.
The scourge of gun violence throughout the nation is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Currently, the U.S. has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world's most developed nations. In the most recent year of data, gun deaths rose to their highest level in fifty years.
Governor Cuomo previously advanced the legislation to keep guns away from individuals who pose a danger with the launch of a statewide campaignto pass the RedFlag Gun Protection Bill in June of 2018. The campaign included a series of bus tours to schools across the state to stand in solidarity with students, teachers and school administrators who support the bill and other common sense gun reform.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has passed the strongest gun control laws in the nation, including the SAFE Act which keeps guns out of the hands of convicted felons and the dangerous mentally ill, ensures private gun sales are subject to a background check, bans high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, and toughens criminal penalties for illegal gun use. The Governor also recently enacted a law targeting the well-known link between domestic abuse and deadly gun violence.