New York's 'Red Flag' Law Goes Into Effect

Mike Smeltz
August 24, 2019 - 1:57 pm
Court house (getty)

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- New York state's "red flag'' law goes into effect Saturday and Senator Brian Kavanagh, says the new law is about behavior, not mental health "danger".

The new law creates a clear process where someone's gun can be taken from them if they are at a high risk of hurting themselves or others. 

"Behavior that is threatening, behavior that is violent. Substance abuse, there are other things that have been demonstrated by social scientists to be predictive of violence and danger." Kavanagh said.  

State legislators who support the measure emphasize that the law will not suddenly take away someone's gun since any petition must also be accompanied by evidence of risk.

 "The scourge of gun violence and mass shootings plaguing the United States in recent years is only getting worse, and it is fueled in part by Washington's failure to keep deadly firearms out of the hands of people who threaten violence against others," Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Whether a protection order is issued will be determined by a hearing and would keep a person from owning or purchasing a weapon for up to one year if issued.

A gun owner may appeal. 

Senator Kavanagh says it is not only about preventing harm against others, but also about protecting at risk people from themselves. 

Opponents say this law reduces the rights of law-abiding citizens but Senator Kavanagh says while a significant number of red flag cases will be about preventing harm against others, this law is also about protecting at risk people from themselves. 

Cuomo signed the "red flag'' law in February.

So far, a total of 17 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.