ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – New York’s so-called “red flag” law takes effect in about six months.
It authorizes teachers, school administrators, and others to petition a court for the removal of guns from individuals who they believe pose a serious threat to themselves or others.
“The petitioner has to show clear and convincing proof that the person in question is likely to engage in dangerous conduct,” said Rochester attorney David Tennant, a former co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s task force on gun violence. “That clear and convincing standard is unusual, it’s heightened, it’s hard to meet.”
Some mental health professionals say it’s difficult to predict violent behavior and Tennant says federal limits on gun violence hinder measures like the red flag law.
“Without evidence, we go into any of these circumstances of trying to find some solutions to gun violence really doing our best to guess at what will work,” he said.
Lori Orologio, president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents says school districts will, together with families and law enforcement, develop a process for identifying at-risk students once the state provides guidance and protocols.
In a written statement, Orologio said the council does not take a position on the legislation, other than to say that it aligns with districts’ current threat assessment protocols, which include working closely with law enforcement and child protective services, and requesting home visits to check on a child’s welfare when there is a concern.
Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview with attorney David Tennant.