NY won’t let teachers be armed in schools

Posted 31 July 2019 at 2:23 pm

Cuomo also directs State Police to strengthen gun buyback programs

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation limiting an educational institution’s ability to authorize any person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard to carry a firearm on school grounds (S.101/A.1715), and directing State Police to establish statewide regulations aimed at strengthening existing gun buyback programs and create new programs for the safe removal of illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms (S.2449/A.2685).

This legislation builds on New York’s strongest in the nation gun laws, including the Red Flag Bill signed in February that prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm, legislation Governor Cuomo signed July 29 extending the background check waiting period and banning bump stocks and legislation signed yesterday banning undetectable guns and expanding firearm safe storage laws to protection children.

“The answer to the gun violence epidemic plaguing this country has never been and never will be more guns, and today we’re expanding New York’s nation-leading gun safety laws to further protect our children,” Governor Cuomo said. “These measures will help slow the proliferation of guns by keeping unneeded firearms out of school zones and helping to ensure unwanted or illegal guns don’t fall into dangerous hands.”

Preventing School Districts from Arming Teachers

In the wake of a rising number of deadly school shootings occurring across our nation, many have suggested that teachers and other school employees should be trained and armed to help deter and prevent future school shootings, even though educators nationwide have disapproved of the idea of carrying guns.

Additionally, introducing guns into schools could create the potential for accidental shootings or other acts of violence. This legislation stipulates that educational institutions can’t issue written authorization to carry a gun to any teacher, professor, administrator or other person who is not primarily employed as a school resource officer, law enforcement officer or security guard. The bill takes effect immediately.

Statewide Regulations for Gun Buyback Programs

There are many different gun buyback programs across the state that allow individuals to dispose of illegal, unsecured, abandoned or unwanted firearms. While these programs are increasing in popularity, they currently lack a consistent set of standards and do not occur everywhere in the state.

This legislation directs the State Police to work with the Department of State to establish regulations for gun buyback programs so that all buyback programs across the state are operated consistently with uniform best practices, and that these programs take place in every county in the state. These standards will help ensure that gun buyback programs accomplish their stated goals of reducing the proliferation of guns in our neighborhood and that the programs are easily accessible to the public. The bill will take effect 180 days after becoming law.

Rebecca Fischer, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said, “Our children deserve safe schools and neighborhoods. Keeping guns out of our classrooms and off of our streets is essential for the future of our kids, our educators, and our communities. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing these bills and our New York legislators for passing these common sense gun safety measures.”

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