Albany – Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Senator Brad Hoylman applauded the passage of a bill to create Extreme Risk Protection Orders (known as ERPOs), today in the Assembly. The bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Simon and Senators Kavanagh and Hoylman passed the Assembly with support from both Republicans and Democrats. In the face of federal inaction, the bill sponsors are part of a growing coalition supporting enactment of ERPO in New York, including NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign, the Citizens Crime Commission of NYC, Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, Moms Demand Action, Prosecutors Against Gun violence, and other legislators. The coalition urged that the bill be swiftly taken up in the Senate.
In addition, the Assembly passed a number of other gun violence prevention bills, including ones that ensure comprehensive background checks (A.2406), prevent domestic violence abusers from having access to weapons (A.5025), ban bump stocks (A.9958), and close a loophole which prevents law enforcement from checking mental health records for people who live in other states, but have residences here in New York, while conducting background checks (A.9978).
The ERPO bill (A8976/S7133) would create a new type of court-issued order of protection that temporarily prohibits individuals from purchasing or possessing guns if a family member or law enforcement officer petitions a court and the court finds that the individual is likely to engage in conduct that would harm themselves or others. Five states, including California, Washington, Indiana, Connecticut, and Oregon have adopted ERPO laws – and Connecticut has seen a measurable decrease in suicide rates.
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon said, “Too often, we are able to see the warning signs that an individual close to us poses a risk of serious harm to themselves or to others, but lack a mechanism to prevent unthinkable tragedies such as interpersonal gun violence or suicide. This legislation empowers families and law enforcement to help prevent these needless gun tragedies by applying to a court to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms. People close to the shooter in Parkland reported their concerns about him to law enforcement, but there was no mechanism for them to act. This bill can change that. Today, we took a stand with the brave kids in Florida, New York, and across the country who are calling on us to act. I hope that this bill is taken up swiftly in the Senate.”
"I'm glad that Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and the Assembly are once again stepping up to pass laws that will prevent gun violence and save lives. Our extreme risk protection orders bill has real momentum. In addition to the bipartisan vote in the Assembly today, the bill has 28 Senate sponsors, and is supported by a broad and growing coalition of experts, advocates, and other New Yorkers who understand that we can and should do more to keep guns out of the hands of people who are likely to harm themselves or others," said Senator Brian Kavanagh, who sponsors the bill in the Senate. "I am calling once again for the Senate to bring this bill to the floor promptly and to pass it."
"One day after the New York State Senate caved to the NRA by refusing to address the issue of guns, I'm grateful that Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and her colleagues in the New York State Assembly are taking a serious approach by passing extreme risk protection orders. This legislation empowers families and law enforcement to intercede before dangerous people with firearms can cause harm to themselves or others and I'm proud to carry this bill with Senator Brian Kavanagh," said Senator Brad Hoylman.
NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said, “No one who displays clear warning signs of potential violence should be allowed to buy or possess a deadly firearm. The Assembly just took a key step forward in passing Assemblymember Simon’s legislation to implement ‘extreme risk protection orders,’ which could help prevent the next tragedy before it happens. Children who have lived through the horrific consequences of our failed national gun policies are begging the adults in power to act. I strongly urge my colleagues in the State Senate to heed their call, and quickly pass this critical, common sense legislation.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., co-chair of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, said “By empowering families and law enforcement to raise a red flag about those in crisis, Extreme Risk Protection Orders help save lives. I thank the Assembly for passing this important legislation, and urge the Senate to do the same.”
Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said, "We are grateful to have gun violence prevention champions taking the lead in the New York State Assembly. In the aftermath of the Parkland massacre, our lawmakers here in New York have stepped forward once again to prevent senseless tragedies. Today, the Assembly passed the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill--common sense legislation that would fill gaps in our state law and keep individuals who are dangerous to themselves and others from accessing guns. Now, perhaps more than ever, New Yorkers--including our children--recognize that reasonable gun safety laws protect our families and our communities. It is time for the New York State Senate to follow the Assembly's leadership and pass this bill to save lives."
“We are thrilled that today the State Assembly passed this life-saving Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation. We commend the State Assembly’s quick action and particularly Assemblymember Simon’s leadership on this critical issue. Now more than ever we need to strengthen public safety protections for New Yorkers, and we urge the state Senate to act quickly and send this Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation to Governor Cuomo’s desk,” said June Rubin volunteer co-leader with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
"I applaud the New York State Assembly on the passage of the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). This life saving tool will provide an evidence-based mechanism for families and law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from a risky situation before a tragedy occurs. The Senate should move swiftly to pass this legislation and bring this vital tool to the Empire State," said Joshua Horwitz, Executive Director of Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
“We applaud the New York Assembly for passing a critical, evidence-based measure that will protect New York families and communities from gun violence by keeping guns away from those at risk of harming themselves or others. While Congress refuses to act, states like New York understand the importance of showing courage - and acting. We urge the Senate to follow suit and pass this bill,” said Nico Bocour, State Legislative Director for Giffords.
“The Crime Commission applauds the New York State Assembly for passing this important legislation,” said Richard M. Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York. “We need to work together to make sure guns are not in the hands of people who show clear signs that they are at risk of committing gun violence. This smart, impactful legislation will save lives.”