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NY gov issues executive order expanding ‘red flag’ gun confiscation law

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at the New York State Association for Affordable Housing Conference in New York City on May 19, 2022. (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)
May 20, 2022

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order on Wednesday bolstering the state’s “red flag” gun confiscation law. The order references the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, during which 10 people were killed.

The order forces State Police to “file for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) under New York State’s Red Flag Law whenever they have probable cause to believe that an individual is a threat to themselves or others.”

Hochul said in a statement that the attack in Buffalo was a “wake-up call” that called for “strong steps” to combat the “deadly threat.”

“The horrific and despicable act of terror committed by a white supremacist this past weekend in Buffalo showed that we as a country are facing an intersection of two crises: the mainstreaming of hate speech – including white nationalism, racism and white supremacy – and the easy access to military-style weapons and magazines,” her statement read.

Hochul also wrote that she has asked the Attorney General to “investigate social media’s role” in the Buffalo shooting, and is “calling for the passage of several pieces of legislation that will help law enforcement get more guns off the street.”

The governor wrote that she wants state lawmakers to pass two bills: the first would require semiautomatic pistols to include microstamping, a system that marks bullets and cartridge cases with a unique fingerprint at each discharge; and the second would require all law enforcement agencies “to report the recovery of any crime gun within 24 hours of their discovery.”

“We will continue to confront this epidemic head-on, stamp out extremists who threaten our communities, strengthen the toughest gun laws in the country and do whatever it takes to keep New Yorkers safe,” she added.

The Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America (GOA) Northeast Regional Director, Michael Csencsits, warned that Hochul’s latest gun control effort “further invites opportunity for abuse and confiscation.”

“This is just one more attempt by anti-gun politicians in Albany to trample on our rights.  In addition to this ‘red flag’ expansion, the Governor and legislators are proposing an expansion of the definition of a firearm and microstamping all new handguns sold in the state (which has been shown historically to not help in solving crime),” Csencsits wrote in a statement.

“These new gun control proposals would not have prevented this tragedy, but they will further infringe on law-abiding New Yorkers who deserve the right to carry arms in their own defense.”