It failed, so let’s have more of it

The Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill, a.k.a “red flag”, was signed into law in ’19 with much fanfare:

“… The red flag law “will save lives and doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights,” Cuomo said Monday in New York City. Cuomo was joined at a signing ceremony for the red flag bill by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as various gun control advocates …”

The Senate sponsor promised his bill would do great things:

““New York already has some of the strongest gun laws in the country — in large part because of the SAFE Act, which we enacted five years ago with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership. Thanks to a combination of smart laws, good policing, and community-based intervention programs, New York has the third lowest rate of gun-related death in the country. “But every year, 900 New Yorkers are killed by guns. That is 900 too many. We can — and must — do more. And we must act now, before the legislative session ends … we cannot continue to risk New Yorkers’ lives by failing to adopt this proven measure. “For more than a year, Senator Hoylman, Assemblymember Simon, and I have worked with our legislative colleagues and a growing coalition of gun violence prevention advocates, mental health organizations, law enforcement officials, district attorneys, and healthcare organizations to build support for Extreme Risk Protection Orders in New York State … “The Governor’s bill — including a friendly amendment to our legislation, which would permit educators to request Extreme Risk Protection Orders — is a very important step forward in our efforts to enact this reform in New York and stop preventable gun violence …”

What happened next?

“At the end of last school year, Gov. Kathy Hochul says then 17-year-old Payton Gendron said for a class project about what he wanted to do next was to commit murder and suicide. Police said it triggered a mental health evaluation but Gendron was released with no further action. “I want to find out what happened with the application of our Red Flag Law, which I championed around the state, that when there’s early warning signs that someone can do harm to themselves or others, there has to be an examination as to whether not there are guns in the house that this person has access to,” Hochul said … State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, a Democrat from Manhattan who co-sponsored the legislation that passed in 2019, said this case should be fully investigated, but the state has issued roughly 1,500 ERPOs in the last three years and he has every reason to believe they may have saved other lives. “We have every reason to believe that if you issue orders when someone is a danger that you are decreasing the chances of harm in that case,” he said. “It’s important that if people who had access to this individual at that time and had reason to believe he was dangerous failed to act and get a Red Flag order in place that we learn from that and don’t repeat that mistake in other instances.” …”

Kavanuagh has “has every reason to believe [his bill] may have save other lives”, but no facts to actually back that up.

What to do next?  Admit failure?

Of course not:

“… Legislators in the final days of the scheduled session are considering whether to make it mandatory to report a “red flag” if someone makes a violent threat that could pose an extreme risk to themselves or others, according to a source familiar with discussions …”