New Yorkers Against Gun Violence will be launching a campaign to educate New Yorkers about the state’s new Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Law (also known as the “Red Flag” Law). The new law–which goes into effect on August 24–establishes a civil court process for removing firearms from individuals who pose a serious threat to themselves or others. The law passed both houses of the state legislature with bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year.

NYAGV will hold public education forums across the state to guide New Yorkers through the ERPO process, provide step-by-step informational materials, and discuss other gun violence prevention solutions to keep New York schools, homes, and communities safe.

Rebecca Fischer, NYAGV Executive Director, who stood with lawmakers, advocates, and law enforcement today in New York City, 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.  We applaud our state’s lawmakers for recognizing that New Yorkers need a tool to remove guns from people in crisis and for taking action.”

About the Extreme Risk Protection Order (“Red Flag”) Law (effective 8/24/19)

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.