FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-679-2345
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Applauds Governor Cuomo for signing Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation To Prevent Gun Violence
--Governor Cuomo Signs Law Empowering Family Members, School Officials, and Law Enforcement to Petition Courts to Remove Firearms from Individuals in Crisis --
New York, NY--February 25, 2019 - Today, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), a statewide advocacy organization, applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing New York’s Extreme Risk (“Red Flag”) Protection Order legislation into law, which establishes a court process for removing firearms from individuals who pose a serious threat to themselves or others. The bill passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support on January 29.
Rebecca Fischer, NYAGV Executive Director, who stood with Governor Cuomo at the signing ceremony in New York City, stated, “Today, New York State has again made it a priority to protect our communities by enacting this life-saving gun violence prevention law. Our children should be able to learn without the fear of gun violence in their classrooms. Governor Cuomo and the legislature recognize that to keep New Yorkers safe, family, school officials, and law enforcement need a tool to remove guns from people in crisis. New York’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law will help prevent gun violence and protect our communities, schools, and homes.”
Additional measures passed by the State Legislature in January that await the Governor’s signature include: extending the background check period, a ban on arming educators, a ban on bump stocks, a statewide gun buyback program, and authorization to check out-of-state mental health records of gun permit applicants.
About Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO/“Red Flag” Law) -- S2451 (Kavanagh) / A2689 (Simon):
In many cases of gun violence -- including mass shootings, interpersonal violence, and suicide -- the shooter’s family members or school officials see warning signs before the fatal act of gun violence occurs. However, they often feel powerless, and are unable to intervene -- even with law enforcement support -- before tragedy occurs. ERPO addresses this gap and creates a legal framework that respects due process and each individual’s rights while preventing gun violence.
If, upon a petition from a family member, school official, or law enforcement official, a court finds the individual is likely to harm him- or herself or others, the judge may issue an initial ERPO, and the individual will be required to surrender any guns to the proper authorities and will be prohibited from purchasing guns. After a second hearing, the judge may extend the order for up to a year -- at which point it will expire, unless a petition is filed to renew the order.
Those subject to ERPOs will have an opportunity during the year-long ERPO period to petition the court and present evidence as to why the order should be lifted. If the order expires and is not renewed or if the order is lifted, guns surrendered will be returned to the individual and all records of the proceedings will be sealed.
During 2018 and 2019, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence educated and organized communities across New York State and led a coalition of legislators, advocates, law enforcement, students, educators, faith leaders, and healthcare professionals to urge passage of New York’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law.
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is a statewide advocacy group working to reduce gun violence through advocacy and education designed to encourage action, influence public opinion and lead to policy change. With a primary focus on New York State, the organization also advocates at the local and national levels for sensible gun laws, policies and programs that protect New York State residents from gun violence. www.nyagv.org
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