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Back in February 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s Red Flag Law. New York is the 13th state in the nation to enact this gun control law, according to the advocacy group Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Three other states have passed this law but they have not gone into effect yet.

Under this law, school officials, police or a family member will be allowed to request the temporary removal of a firearm from someone they feel may be a danger to themselves or others. This includes people with no prior arrest record and no prior criminal charges. 

There has been a push for some type of gun control legislation over the past few years because of multiple incidents in America. While some advocacy groups want the focus to be on the complete removal of assault-type military-grade weaponry, other organizations are choosing to stay away from gun control and identify the problem as more of a mental health matter. Despite the root cause, the majority of the world agrees that some type of change needs to be made because the current system is failing its citizens. 

For most people, the number one issue will be the way the Red Flag Law is implemented in actuality. Authorities and judges understand that they will be walking a fine line between protecting lives and not violating the second amendment of the constitution. The ultimate goal is to prevent mass shootings like the ones that have happened already in so many states. This is one measure that is being taken that is hopefully a step in the right direction.

The procedure works as follows: If someone is suspected of being harmful to themselves or others, a request for a temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is filed. Police, families, district and county attorneys, and school administration officials will be the ones allowed to make this type of request. If a judge grants the order, the person is notified and a hearing is scheduled within the next three to six days after notification is successful. 

For better or for worse, this preventative measure is only a temporary solution to a potential future tragedy. Although authorities will have the power to remove firearms from the person and prevent them from purchasing a new one for up to one year, within 60 days of the order expiration, the person will have the right to reapply for a gun renewal.