New York passed an unprecedented new law, which allows police officers, teachers and family members to go to a judge and get a court-ordered evaluation, protection order and revoke an individual’s ability to own or purchase a firearm. No other state has this…yet. The new measure, signed by Governor Cuomo and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, creates the ability for teachers to obtain an “extreme risk protection order” or ERPO that would stay in effect for a period of six days while a hearing is held to determine if the individual is a danger to himself or others.
Nancy Pelosi said that “it is a great honor to join Governor Cuomo, survivors and advocates as New York makes history by enacting this landmark gun violence prevention legislation.” She maintained that other leaders in government “must continue to work together to ensure that no other family is forced to endure the tragedy and heartbreak of gun violence, whether in our schools, in our places of worship, on our streets or in any place.”
Tom King, President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association said that “while sounding good to the anti-gunners and non-gun owners, the bills will do absolutely nothing to make the people of NY safer” and that it will simply allow law the State to take guns away from lawful citizens.
Other similar laws were passed in Connecticut in 1999 and almost a dozen other states with another 30 states considering them. It is unclear how those other state laws may compare to the new legislation in New York.
Many people are skeptical of the Governor’s motivations and intentions. “The petitioner has to show clear and convincing proof that the person in question is likely to engage in dangerous conduct,” said Rochester attorney David Tennant, a former co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s task force on gun violence. "That clear and convincing standard is unusual, it's heightened, it's hard to meet." So is this new law going to save lives? Only time will tell.