ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Governor Kathy Hochul was joined by Attorney General Letitia James to announce an expansion of the state's Red Flag Law on Monday.
They say the expansion aims to further protect New York residents from gun violence.
Since signing the legislation into law, the governor's office says that the state has already issued 1,908 Extreme Risk Protection orders, doubling the number of orders issued since it become law in August 2019.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders are issued when a person poses a danger to themselves or others.
"Protecting New Yorkers is my top priority, and the expansion of the Red Flag Law is taking dangerous, deadly weapons away from those who pose a threat to themselves or others and preventing violence and tragedy," Governor Hochul said. "Working closely with the Attorney General and the State Police, we will continue to work to ensure effective implementation of the law to combat gun violence and save lives."
"Keeping guns away from dangerous individuals is a common sense way to save New Yorkers' lives," said Attorney General James. "Extreme Risk Protection Orders have helped avert tragedies and protect communities. These funds will allow my office to better support our partners in the New York State Police, promote public safety, and help save more lives throughout our state. I thank Governor Hochul for taking this action, and we'll continue to work together to combat crime and keep New Yorkers safe."
Hochul and James also announced a $4.6 million increase to the Attorney General's 2023 fiscal year budget to support the State Police's efforts to obtain Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
The money will help State Police implement the law and add dozens of staff positions to help obtain these protective orders.
It was after the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo back in May when Governor Hochul issued an executive order requiring State Police to expand their use of the Red Flag Law.
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven Nigrelli said, "While we are proud of that high rate, we would like to see all of our applications approved. There's no doubt that with the legal expertise of the Attorney General's Office we can maximize our use of the law and further succeed with our ultimate goal: to keep individuals safe."
For more information on New York State's Reg Flag Law: https://www.ny.gov/programs/red-flag-gun-protection-law