Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making the rounds this week promoting his Red Flag bill, what he is framing as “taking the SAFE Act to the next level,” as he said in a recent ad.
The legislation allows designated people to petition a court to disarm a person believed to be a danger to themselves or others.
At its core, it’s a way for the state to confiscate firearms. What makes Cuomo’s Red Flag bill different than other Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) is that along with family members and law enforcement, school officials are empowered to solicit a gun seizure order for a student they believe to be an “extreme risk.”
“If a parent or a teacher knows a child might act out, has access to guns, let them have the ability to go to a judge,” Cuomo said Monday at a press conference. “This has nothing to do with politics. It is common sense. There is no reason this shouldn’t pass.”
SEE ALSO: Cuomo Introduces ‘Red Flag’ Law to Allow Teachers to Disarm Students (Who Can’t Lawfully Purchase Guns to Begin With)
GunsAmerica reached out to Cuomo’s office several times to get more clarification on the scope of this Red Flag bill. We’ve also reached out to a half-dozen state lawmakers. No responses thus far.
We asked Tom King, a lobbyist for the NRA-ILA and the president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association if the state would really be directed to disarm an entire family because there is a troubled student living in the home.
“We are trying to get the same question answered,” said King in an email to GunsAmerica. “Unlike other states there are no public hearings on these bills and we have to rely on them answering questions. Since this is a Cuomo bill I expect the worst.”
Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation was even more cynical about Cuomo’s agenda.
“New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is and has always been for gun prohibition,” Gottlieb told GunsAmerica. “If he had his way no one would be allowed to own a firearm. This move is just one more step towards his goal. He is totally allied with the gun ban lobby.”
Lawmakers are scheduled to debate the legislation Tuesday. Maybe when they’re finished we’ll get some answers. Stay tuned.