New York governor signs ‘red flag’ gun bill into law
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New York governor signs ‘red flag’ gun bill into law

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, signed the Red Flag Gun Protection Bill, a key component of his 2019 Justice Agenda, in Albany Monday.

The Red Flag Bill, also known as the extreme risk protection order bill, builds upon New York’s strongest in the nation gun laws by enabling courts to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is showing red flags, such as violent behavior, or is believed to pose a severe threat of harm to himself, herself or others. The bill also authorizes teachers and school officials to seek preemptive action through the courts. Surrounded by survivors and family members of victims of gun violence, Cuomo stated:

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.

Critics of the bill have due process concerns. Authors of the bill, which aims to prevent mass shootings where the “shooter was reported by multiple sources to be disturbed and dangerous yet was allowed to purchase and possess deadly firearms”, say the bill provides “all necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process.”

The law will come into effect in 180 days.