Hochul: Use of red flag laws has spiked since expanded state gun reforms passed
New numbers show a big rise in action being taken in New York to keep guns out of the hands of those who could pose a danger to themselves or others.
According to Gov. Kathy Hochul, 832 “extreme risk protection orders” were issued over the past three months across the state. That's compared to a little more than 1,400 over the prior 20 months.
Those protection orders, or red flags, prevent people who show signs of being a threat from being able to purchase or own a gun. Hochul made it a requirement for state police to apply for them whenever there is probable cause after the Buffalo mass shooting in May.
Since then, troopers have almost doubled their applications from 2021. Then, when lawmakers passed a sweeping gun reform package in June, that directive was expanded to all local law enforcement departments and district attorneys in the state – as well as doctors, nurses and therapists. The governor says it's aimed at preventing crime rather than having to solve them.
Ultimately, a judge determines whether temporary restrictions need to be permanent.
On Aug. 24, the state will be offering a free webinar to help police departments all over the state learn how to better use the red flag law – from identifying risky behavior to filing for one of those extreme risk protective orders.