ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday that he says prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm. The Red Flag 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.
The governor said the Red Flag Bill provides 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.
“Today New York is proud to pass the first-in-the-nation Red Flag 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 Red Flag Bill will save lives and doesn’t infringe on anybody’s rights and it is common sense,” Cuomo said.
“In fact, more than half of all perpetrators of mass shootings exhibit warning signs before the shooting In these cases, an extreme risk protection order could have prevented countless, needless deaths,” the governor said in a media release.
According to the governor, the Red Flag Bill builds on the Safe Act that was approved in 2013 following the Sandy Hook mass school shooting in Connecticut.
Even with the new changes, Gun shop owners in New York say this new legislation won’t change the way they operate much.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined the governor in releasing a statement on the signing.