New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday signed into law an Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, commonly referred to as "red flag laws." Under the new law, family members, school administrators and law enforcement officials can have a person's firearms confiscated from people believed to be a threat to themselves or others.
"If initially approved by a judge, the individual would be banned from buying, possessing or attempting to buy firearms for up to six days. During that time, a hearing would have to be held on extending the length of the order up to one year. It permits police to confiscate any weapons possessed by the individual," The Buffalo News reported.
The gun violence epidemic is one of the most pressing issues of our time.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 26, 2019
Today I was proud to sign the life-saving Red Flag Bill into law — which makes our communities safer by empowering teachers to act when they think something bad is going to happen. pic.twitter.com/vmjPz9zVdy
The Red Flag Bill is now law.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 25, 2019
Thank you @SpeakerPelosi for joining me today to sign this life-saving legislation into law.
The Red Flag Bill will save lives by empowering school teachers to do something when they believe something bad is going to happen. pic.twitter.com/s3aBKze3kK
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made an appearance at the ceremony, along with Linda Beigel Schulman, whose son, schoolteacher Scott Beigel, was killed during the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year.
American families deserve to see bold action to prevent gun violence. Thanks to @NYGovCuomo & the New York State Legislature for leading the way by passing the Red Flag Bill & providing an example of the commonsense solutions that will save lives! https://t.co/4HcMLI1h3D— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 26, 2019
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts congratulated her team in New York for making their vision become a reality.
THEY DID IT!!! New York @MomsDemand volunteers have worked to pass an Extreme Risk Protection Law (aka, Red Flag Law) since January 2018. Today, our volunteers stood with @NYGovCuomo as he signed the bill into law.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 25, 2019
NY is the 14th state to pass the law; the 9th in the past year. pic.twitter.com/I6dLzwBFoG
Red flag laws have been a point of contention for gun owners across America because the lack of due process. In America, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. These Extreme Risk Protection Orders allow law enforcement to confiscate someone's guns before they've had their day in court. The firearms are taken and then due process is supposedly given.
The other issue is the potential for abuse. Here's an example: a couple gets into a fight and breaks up. The woman is upset and wants to retaliate against her now ex-boyfriend. He's someone who is a law-abiding gun owner who carries concealed on a daily basis. What better way to get back at him then to call into the local police station and say she's fearful for her life? There's no evidence. There's no basis for the belief. But guess what? A judge could have the guy's firearms taken away simply because the woman said she fears for her life.
Evidence is a thing of the past with red flag laws.