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NY first state to allow teachers, school administrators to report 'red flag' behavior

February 25, 2019 07:12 PM

MANHATTAN - The Red Flag Law got the green light in New York on Monday.

The law allows courts to temporarily seize firearms from people who are showing "red flags" or signs of violent behavior.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill in New York City on Monday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also there. Pelosi called the law "landmark gun violence prevention legislation." 

Though other states have similar laws, New York is the first state to give teachers and school administrators the power to pursue court intervention if they believe someone poses a threat to themselves or others. A judge can then order an evaluation for the person or persons in question and remove firearms from their possession if they see fit.

Linda Beigel Schulman said this legislation would have saved her son's life. Schulman lives on Long Island, but her son Scott lived in Florida.

Scott was one of the teachers killed in the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. last year.

"Teachers and students at the school say they knew the shooter was a threat but there was nothing they could do because there was no law in place," Schulman said. "So I am very proud of my state for doing what makes sense and I know Scott is proud too."

Cuomo said a recent study found over half of school shooters showed warning signs before taking action.

"This Red Flag Law he's about to sign, it will save lives," Schulman said. "Parkland would have never happened and my son would still be alive if Parkland had the Red Flag Law on February 13, 2018."

NewsChannel 13 reached out to New York State United Teachers for comment on the law. NYSUT President Andy Pallotta sent this statement:

"This is common-sense legislation that will help protect students, teachers and the entire school community. I thank the Governor and the Legislature for their leadership on this critical issue and look forward to working with them to continue improving school safety."

You can watch the whole signing event and speeches on the governor's YouTube page. You can read more about the Red Flag Law in this press release.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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