ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Nearly a month after New York’s new ‘red flag’ law took effect, Governor Cuomo is traveling the state, making the case for the law.
The red flag law was passed by the state legislature and signed by Cuomo earlier this year, and took effect in late August. The law allows law enforcement officers, family members and school officials to seek a court order to have someone’s guns seized for up to a year.
They have to convince a judge that the person in question is a threat to himself or others.
Cuomo spoke at the first of three conferences to educate teachers and parents about the law,
“There has to be an unspoken fear that every student and every teacher has when in the back of their mind, they are saying, ‘Could today be the day that some person walks in here and it happens to me,’” he said.
“You are uniquely informed and intuitive, being with these kids. You get it. You see it, you can read it. You have not had a voice or a vehicle to do something, and the red flag law is a powerful tool."
The red flag law requires proof, such as evidence of continuing substance abuse or reckless handling of weaponry.
To date, one person in the state - in the Albany area - has lost his guns because of the law.
Gun rights advocates strongly oppose the law.
Tom King from the state’s Rifle and Pistol Association told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle “There is no due process. People can come in your house and take your guns and then people are going to listen to you afterwards to see if you can get your guns back.”
The order prohibits people the courts deem a threat from purchasing or owning a firearm for up to one year.
The petition can be submitted with a local supreme court. If a request for a seizure order is granted by a court, the person named must be notified, and must attend a hearing within 3-6 days of that notice. A hearing can be requested during the year long period if the person would like to try to get their weapon back.
The National Rifle Association is also on record opposing the bill, arguing that law-abiding citizens could have their weapons taken away in violation of the Second Amendment.
New York is the 17th state to enact a red flag law.