New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” bill, which would make the state the first in the nation “to empower teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.”
Under the law, teachers and school administrators would have the power to petition a judge to remove guns from the homes of students deemed troublesome. Family members and law enforcement agencies would also be able to approach the court about the removal of guns from homes.
Cuomo said the law would “prevent individuals determined by a court to be likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to themselves or others from purchasing, possessing, or attempting to purchase or possess any type of firearm, including handguns, rifles, or shotguns."
"By expanding background checks and extreme risk protection orders, New York is once again demonstrating the leadership we need to address our nationwide epidemic of gun violence," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul added. "These bold actions take the next step forward and address the continued threat of gun violence. No person should ever fear going to school, or a concert, or a house of worship. While Washington refuses to act to save lives, New York will lead the way to enact commonsense reforms to prevent senseless tragedy."
Under current state law, firearms 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 such an order in connection with a criminal or family offense proceeding.
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 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.
“We commend Governor Cuomo for joining us in calling on the legislature to enact the Extreme Risk Protection Order law immediately so concerned parents, law enforcement and teachers can petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others. New York State needs a Red Flag bill now,” Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said in a statement.
In the past, Cuomo has also pushed for legislation to extend the background check waiting period from three to 10 days.
"While the conservative leadership in Washington remains immobilized by the NRA, in New York we refuse to be intimidated by the gun lobby and will continue to take action to protect the people of our state," Cuomo said. "Across the nation, students and communities are taking to the streets to demand change, and we are once again picking up the mantle of leadership from Washington with common sense measures to target the roots of school shootings, and prevent gun violence, tragedies and heartbreak.”
“I've spoken with many educators in Parkland, Florida and heard repeatedly that the shooter showed clear signs that he was a troubled soul,” AFT President Randi Weingarten stated. “It's no surprise as the Brady Campaign reports 42 percent of mass shooters exhibit warning signs beforehand.
“That's why the legislation Gov. Cuomo is proposing today is so important as a part of combatting the gun violence epidemic and protecting students and teachers. Schools should be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses. Teachers don't want to be armed, we want to teach and we want to protect kids. This smart new law would empower educators and school staff to act and be heard when they suspect danger while still protecting students' due process right.“
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.