Reader John Dingell III writes:
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has just ratcheted up the extreme risk protection order or “red flag” law game by several degrees. He has proposed legislation which would enable teachers and other school officials to petition courts to ‘block access to guns by students.’
Translated from the newspeak, this legislation would allow teachers to file an extreme risk protection order petition against the parents of a suspect student.
Cuomo said the bill would be the first in the nation to provide an opportunity for a teacher to act on suspicions that students could be a danger to themselves or others. Under current law, Cuomo said a school official has no legal standing to petition a judge to remove or secure guns in the home of a student.
In other words, to confiscate the parents’ firearms.
“The evidence suggests that, in many cases, the teacher already had suspicions about a student before an action happened,” Cuomo said. “Right now, teachers are basically powerless. . . . [The bill] gives them a vehicle to do something about it.”
Cuomo said the State Senate’s Republican majority rejected the idea during budget negotiations, from January through March. However, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Democratic-led Assembly have already passed a red-flag bill — limited to family members, household members, police officers and prosecutors. The bill, co-sponsored by state Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan), would prevent a school-age child from purchasing or possessing a firearm under the “extreme risk protection orders” from judges.
Unstated in the Governor’s press blitz is the fact that most age school students aren’t old enough to legally own or purchase firearms. It’s the parents’ gun rights that will be put at risk by Cuomo’s proposal.
If adopted, it’s easy to imagine the governor and New York’s famously gun rights-hostile legislature not stopping there. They could eventually expand the law’s reach to non-custodial parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…. We’re living in interesting times.