Long Island District Attorneys, Nassau Police Commissioner Join Call for “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” to be Included in State Budget

“NY ERPO Coalition” Continues to Expand, Urges Senate, Assembly, and Governor to Enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders in the Budget

Law would empower police and district attorneys, along with family and household members, to request a court order preventing someone from possessing or purchasing guns if a judge finds they are likely to harm themselves or others

(Albany, NY) -- Today, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder urged the Governor, the Senate, and the Assembly to include extreme risk protection orders legislation in the state budget. The District Attorneys and Police Commissioner also announced they joined the New York ERPO Coalition, led by New York State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

Law enforcement officials, including District Attorneys and police officers, often see warning signs of gun violence, but currently have limited ability to take action before a crime is committed. Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) fill that void by empowering them to take action and save lives before gun violence occurs.

Support from the Nassau and Suffolk County District Attorneys and Nassau County Police Commissioner comes as the coalition urges the Governor, Senate, and Assembly to include the extreme risk protection orders legislation in the budget. This weekend, all five New York City District Attorneys called for this legislation to be included in the budget. The bill has also been supported by Westchester District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. and the Westchester Board of Legislators.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said: “When we know someone poses a significant danger to themselves or others, it’s critical that law enforcement has a legal mechanism to remove guns from the equation. I commend Senators Kavanagh and Hoylman and Assemblymember Simon for championing this critically important legislation that will save lives throughout New York.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said: “This bill, if passed, would provide law enforcement a necessary tool to keep firearms out of the hands of those whom are proven to be a clear and present danger to themselves or the public. This is an important step in preventing gun crimes.”

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said: “It is essential that law enforcement and others close to an individual who is in distress, to have a legal option to petition the courts in order to protect students, residents, communities and society as a whole.  We have seen on many occasions where it is too late to act in some situations that possibly could have been prevented and innocent individuals are killed or seriously injured. We have to think of extraordinary ways to combat this violence and this bill is a clear example of that.”

The bill (S7133A/A8976B), is sponsored by Senators Brian Kavanagh and Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. This legislation would create a new type of civil order called an “extreme risk protection order.” Family members, household members, and law enforcement officials -- including police and District Attorneys -- would be able to petition a judge for an ERPO, and if the court finds the respondent is likely to harm themselves or others, the judge would issue an order which temporarily restricts their right to possess or purchase guns. The subject of the order would also be required to temporarily surrender any guns they currently own.

Earlier this month, the bill passed the Assembly with strong bipartisan support. The Senate bill has 29 co-sponsors, including every member of the Democratic Conference and the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC).

Six other states — Connecticut, Indiana, California, Washington, Oregon, and Florida — have similar laws. The Florida bill was enacted this month in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th.

“Day-in and day-out, our law enforcement officials see the heartbreaking impact gun violence can have on our communities, and it’s so important these Long Island leaders are supporting this life-saving legislation,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, sponsor of S7133. “Law enforcement officials have a sworn duty to protect New Yorkers, and DA Sini, DA Singas, and Commissioner Ryder know that extreme risk protection orders save lives. That’s why this legislation must be included in the budget, and it’s why we’re going to keep pushing until extreme risk protection orders are a reality in New York.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman said: “Extreme Risk Protection Orders allow the real experts in our communities -- family members, loved ones, and local law enforcement officers -- to intervene in an unstable situation before tragedy strikes. We have an obligation to help people in crisis, and temporarily removing a deadly weapon can prevent gun violence and keep families safe until the situation stabilizes. I'm thrilled that support for ERPOs is spreading, and will continue fighting to put this common sense reform in the budget.”

“Gun violence is a public health and public safety issue that is plaguing our nation, but we can do something about it. Our  law enforcement are an essential part of keeping us safe every day which is why I’m so grateful to DA Sini, DA Singas, and Commissioner Ryder for joining our growing coalition to call for the extreme risk protection order bill. This bill will help prevent people from harming themselves or others, and help us reduce the heavy toll that gun violence takes on our community,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

“Long Island’s law enforcement officials and the communities they protect recognize that common sense gun safety policies save lives,” said Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “An extreme risk protection order process would empower family and law enforcement to remove guns from individuals who are dangerous to themselves and others and prevent senseless tragedies on Long Island and across New York State.”

“The epidemic of gun violence continues to impact the lives of New Yorkers,” said Nico Bocour, State Legislative Director of Giffords. "If included in the state budget, police officers and families will have a critical tool to help prevent individuals experiencing a crisis from having easy access to a gun. We applaud Senators Brian Kavanagh, Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, along with District Attorneys Sini and Singas and Police Commissioner Ryder, for their efforts to implement this vital piece of legislation that will protect the lives of New Yorkers from unnecessary gun violence.”

About the NY ERPO Coalition:

Formed earlier this year, the New York ERPO Coalition includes Senators Brian Kavanagh and Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, the New York Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, New York Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, and District Attorneys Clark (Bronx), Gonzalez (Brooklyn), Vance, Jr. (Manhattan), Brown (Queens), and McMahon (Staten Island). Now, it also includes Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, and Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.