County legislators oppose new ‘Red Flag’ gun law
ALBION – Orleans County legislators today formally opposed the Red Flag Bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Feb. 25.
The legislation prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing any kind of firearm. Cuomo touted the bill last month as the first in the United States to empower teachers and school administrators to prevent school shootings by pursuing court intervention.
No law previously existed in the state that enabled a court to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is showing red flags, like violent behavior, or 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, Cuomo said.
County legislators today cited the Second Amendment – “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
County legislators said the Red Flag Bill “is in clear violation of our constitutionally afforded Second Amendment rights, as well as the right to due process of law.”
County legislators said there are 5,800 registered gun owners in Orleans County “who could therefore be subject to the seizure of their legally obtained firearms if a person deems them to be a threat to themselves or the public.”
County legislators said a better way for the governor and State Legislature to respond to gun violence is to increase penalties for criminals who use firearms to harm or threaten law-abiding citizens, and also to address the issues of mental illness related to violence.
The County Legislature’s resolution will be forwarded to state legislators and the governor.