ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Amid a national gun-control debate, New York state’s “red flag” law went into effect Saturday.
It allows law enforcement, school officials and families to ask a court to order the seizure of firearms from people considered to be dangerous.
State legislators who support the measure emphasize that law enforcement will not suddenly take away someone's gun. Any petition must be accompanied by evidence of risk. A hearing will then determine whether a protection order is issued keeping a person from owning or purchasing a weapon for up to one year. A gun owner may appeal.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the “red flag” legislation in February.
“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,” Cuomo said in a statement Saturday.
“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.”
Opponents say it curtails the rights of law-abiding citizens.
A total of 17 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.
- by The Associated Press & 7 News