Cuomo legislation would create process for taking guns from people deemed dangerous by teachers, school administrators
Monday, June 11, 2018 - 3:51 pm

Edited at 3:44 p.m.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has put forward legislation that would establish a process to take guns away from people who teachers or school administrators believe to be dangerous.

Under current state law, the press release says, firearms may be removed from a person subject to a temporary order of protection issued by a criminal or family court, but a court can only issue a temporary order of protection in connection with a criminal or family offense proceeding.

However, the release says there is no state law that enables a court to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is believed to pose a severe threat of harm to himself, herself, or others unless that person has also been accused of a crime or family offense.

“This shortcoming in the law persists, despite the fact that family members often contact law enforcement when they fear that a loved one poses a threat of violence to others or themselves,” the press release from the governor’s office says. “In addition, no state in the nation currently empowers its teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.”

His office says passage of the bill “would make New York the first state in the nation to empower its teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.”

A press release from the governor’s office is describing the proposal as an “extreme risk protection order law that would prevent individuals determined by a court to be likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to themselves or others from purchasing, possessing, or attempting to purchase or possess any type of firearm, including hand guns, rifles, or shotguns.”

“While the conservative leadership in Washington remains immobilized by the NRA, in New York we refuse to be intimidated by the gun lobby and will continue to take action to protect the people of our state," the governor said. "Across the nation, students and communities are taking to the streets to demand change, and we are once again picking up the mantle of leadership from Washington with common sense measures to target the roots of school shootings, and prevent gun violence, tragedies and heartbreak."

The release says the law would provide all necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process while ensuring that tragedies like the school shooting in Parkland, Florida and the mass killing at the Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee are not repeated.

In both of those cases, the shooter was reported by multiple sources to be disturbed and dangerous yet was allowed to purchase and possess deadly firearms. An extreme risk protection order could have prevented countless, needless deaths .

However, the release does not explain how the rights of the accused individual would be protected.

The press release cites support from teachers’ union leaders and gun reform groups.

The proposed law can be viewed in its entirety here.