August 12, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Major Increase in 'Red Flag' Law Usage by Law Enforcement Statewide, Keeping New Yorkers Protected From Gun Violence Caused by Individuals Who Pose a Risk to Themselves or Others

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Governor Hochul Announces Major Increase in 'Red Flag' Law Usage by Law Enforcement Statewide, Keeping New Yorkers Protected From Gun Violence Caused by Individuals Who Pose a Risk to Themselves or Others
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Substantially More Red Flag Applications Filed in Last Three Months Than All of 2021

State Police Reports More Than 93 Percent Increase, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Reports More Than 75 Percent Increase in Red Flag Applications

Progress Comes After Governor Hochul Implemented Executive Order and Passed New Legislation Requiring Red Flag Law Implementation

State Will Offer New Red Flag Law Training in Partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a major increase in applications for Extreme Risk Protection Orders under New York's Red Flag Law—with substantially more ERPOs filed in the last three months than in all of 2021. The increase comes after Governor Hochul took decisive action in the wake of the mass shooting in Buffalo, issuing an Executive Order requiring State Police to expand their use of the Red Flag Law and working with the legislature to pass a new law requiring all law enforcement agencies in New York to increase the use of these potentially life-saving orders. Governor Hochul made the announcement in Suffolk County where the County Sheriff's Office is reporting a more than 75 percent increase in utilization of the Red Flag Law over the last three months.

"My top priority as governor is to keep New Yorkers safe," Governor Hochul said. "In the wake of the horrific shooting in my hometown of Buffalo, we took quick and decisive action to get illegal guns off our streets and away from individuals who would use them to harm themselves or others. Now, we see our efforts are working, thanks to the heroic efforts of our partners in law enforcement who are on the front lines in the fight to protect public safety and end the scourge of gun violence."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SftAXAGiH6Q

On May 18, four days after the Buffalo shooting, Governor Hochul issued an executive order directing the State Police to apply for an ERPO when there is probable cause that someone posed a danger to themselves or others. On July 6, a new state law signed by the Governor took effect, expanding that order to all law enforcement agencies and district attorneys. The law also added to the list of those who can file orders.

A total of 832 temporary and final ERPOs have been issued in New York State in the past three months (May - August 2022), compared to the 1,424 issued from August 2019 to April 2022.

State Police have filed 184 red flag applications since Governor Hochul signed Executive Order 19 on May 18, 2022, a more than 93 percent increase over the 95 orders filed by State Police in all of 2021. Suffolk County has been a leader in utilizing ERPOs since the Red Flag Law was enacted in August of 2019. Since the week of May 16, the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office has served 114 protection orders, a more than 75 percent increase compared with all of 2021.

State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, "We remain focused on reducing gun violence and we appreciate the Governor's support in providing the resources necessary for our members to accomplish this mission. The Red Flag law gives law enforcement, family members, school administrators, teachers and mental health professionals the ability to step in and prevent violence before it occurs. The State Police encourages the public to remain observant of suspicious activities in their schools or communities. By reporting relevant information, we can all help prevent tragedies from occurring."

In the wake of the horrific shooting in my hometown of Buffalo, we took quick and decisive action to get illegal guns off our streets and away from individuals who would use them to harm themselves or others.

Governor Kathy Hochul

Governor Hochul is also announcing that under a partnership between the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and Everytown for Gun Safety, the State is offering a free training webinar for law enforcement titled "Extreme Risk Protection Orders - Overview for Law Enforcement." The training, which has been offered to all law enforcement agencies in New York will be held on August 24, and will cover identifying extreme risk behavior, how to file, execute, and extend an ERPO.

Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado said, "All too often in the aftermath of mass shootings, we learn about 'red flags,' patterns of troubling or threatening behavior that went unnoticed, dismissed or otherwise not taken seriously. I applaud Governor Hochul'sactions to strengthen the extreme risk protection order law and my agency is proud to partner with Everytown to provide law enforcement agencies with training to help them use these orders as another 'tool in their toolbox' to keep their communities safe."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Thanks to Governor Hochul's leadership, New York remains at the forefront of sensible gun control. Here in Suffolk we are proud to be a leader in utilizing Extreme Risk Protection Orders since the state enacted the Red Flag Law in 2019. We will continue to take decisive action to protect our communities, ensure our residents are safe, and keep firearms out of the hands of people who could be a danger to themselves or others."

Governor Hochul Announces Major Increase in 'Red Flag' Law Usage By Law Enforcement Statewide, Keeping New Yorkers Protected From Gun Violence Caused By Individuals Who Pose a Risk to Themselves or Others

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said, Suffolk County has led the state in utilizing the Red Flag Law to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who have been deemed by the courts to pose a threat to themselves or others and the Suffolk County Police Department is committed to continuing that work. I applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership on this issue providing municipalities with the tools needed to keep our residents, and importantly school children and patrons at local businesses, safe."

Suffolk Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. said, "Suffolk County remains the frontrunner of ERPOs in the entire State with our Deputy Sheriffs on the frontlines in an effort to stop our loved ones, friends, and neighbors from becoming victims. We stand ready to continue to work with law enforcement agencies to even better Suffolk's model that aims to prevent tragedies and keep our communities safe. I thank Governor Hochul for recognizing the hard and important work the men and women of law enforcement agencies across the State are doing every day."

Everytown for Gun Safety Senior Director of State Government Affairs Monisha Henley said, "Red Flag laws are a bedrock gun safety policy that keeps guns out of the hands of individuals in crisis, keeps loved ones and family safe, and protects communities across New York state. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for her continued partnership, and we look forward to continuing to support the state's ongoing efforts to ensure these laws are effectively implemented."

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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