Senator Kaplan Hosts Public Forum on Gun Violence and the Red Flag Law with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

Event is the first in a series of educational forums that seek to educate New Yorkers across the state about the new Red Flag Law and other gun violence prevention efforts

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PORT WASHINGTON, NY (November 8, 2019) – Yesterday, Senator Anna M. Kaplan and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), a statewide advocacy organization, held a forum at Landmark on Main in Port Washington as the first stop of a statewide campaign to educate New Yorkers about the state's new Extreme Risk Protection Order Law (“ERPO” or “Red Flag Law”). The new law, which Senator Kaplan proudly co-sponsored and helped pass earlier this year, went into effect on August 24, and establishes a civil court process for removing firearms from individuals who pose a serious threat to themselves or others. 

“New York's new Red Flag Law is a critical tool to keep our communities safe from gun violence, and it's a tool we can all use to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Senator Anna M. Kaplan. “I’m proud to have helped enact this new law, and I’m very grateful for the work of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in helping educate the public on the role we all play in ending the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”

Rebecca Fischer, NYAGV Executive Director, stated, “Now that New York has enacted the strongest Extreme Risk Protection Order law in the country, it's our job to educate New Yorkers about this life-saving civil court-process. With this new law, family, household members, school officials, and law enforcement are now empowered to prevent gun violence within our homes, schools, and communities."

NYAGV's education campaign will consist of public forums across New York State bringing together law enforcement, school officials, community leaders and others to guide New Yorkers through the ERPO process, to provide step-by-step informational materials, and to discuss other gun violence prevention solutions that will keep our schools, homes, and communities safe.

Last night's panel presentation in Port Washington included:

  • New York State Senator Anna Kaplan
  • Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder
  • Dr. Lorna Lewis, School Superintendent Plainview-Old Bethpage
  • Rebecca Fischer, NYAGV Executive Director
  • Dr. Jeffrey Oestreicher, Gun Violence Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Abid I. Khan, Director of Psychiatry, Brunswick Hospital
  • With special remarks by Congressman Tom Suozzi and Linda Beigel Schulman, mother of Scott Beigel, the teacher and cross-country coach murdered in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida.

“My son, Scott J. Beigel was the teacher and cross-country coach murdered in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. I firmly believe that if Florida had a Red Flag Law in effect prior to the shooting, Scott, along with the 16 other innocent souls, would be alive today,” said Linda Beigel Schulman. “In 2019 New York State led the nation by taking a huge step forward in support of reasonable gun safety. The New York State Legislature passed, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed, the Red Flag Law, also known as the Extreme Risk Protection Order or ERPO. The Red Flag Law is landmark gun safety legislation that can save lives. However, the Red Flag Law will only be effective if parents, relatives, law enforcement, teachers and administrators know how to properly implement it.” 

About New York's Extreme Risk Protection Order Law (ERPO/ “Red Flag” Law) New York's Extreme Risk "Red Flag" Protection Order Law went into effect on Saturday, August 24, 2019. The New York State Unified Court System has published an overview of the civil court process on it's website here and relevant administrative forms here, and will be posting more information soon. New Yorkers Against Gun Violence has informational materials at www.nyagv.org.

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 temporary 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.

About 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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