In the midst of a run for his third term in office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going back to the gun control trough to push measures that could see a sweeping “red flag” law adopted and the age to buy any firearm bumped to 21.
The Democrat announced his plan for an extreme risk protection order law this week alongside a panel that was staffed with representatives from a myriad of anti-gun groups and a student advocate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Cuomo’s plan would allow teachers and school administrators as well as family members, law enforcement and prosecutors to seek a court order to temporarily impound the guns and firearm licenses of any person thought to be at risk to themselves or others. While several states have adopted such so-called “red flag” laws in recent years, the one proposed in New York would provide the widest pool of those who could seek out a seizure order.
“While the conservative leadership in Washington remains immobilized by the NRA, in New York we refuse to be intimidated by the gun lobby and will continue to take action to protect the people of our state,” said Cuomo. “Across the nation, students and communities are taking to the streets to demand change, and we are once again picking up the mantle of leadership from Washington with common sense measures to target the roots of school shootings, and prevent gun violence, tragedies and heartbreak.”
Additionally, Cuomo reiterated his support for a 10-day waiting period for would-be gun buyers not immediately approved to purchase a firearm through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The current federal law allows a licensed dealer to proceed with a transfer if a NICS check has been delayed for more than three days. This comes just a week after he promised to shepherd legislation to raise the minimum age to buy guns in the state to 21, a move he had previously said would be ineffective.
Cuomo is fighting a primary race as an incumbent against former Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon, who has taken to characterizing the sitting Governor as something of a “fake progressive” while she is advancing a platform cobbled from a list of Manhattan-centric issues and marijuana legalization. While polls show Cuomo in the lead and he has a $30 million war chest to draw from, the Democratic primary is three months away and he would still need gas in the tank to take on a Republican candidate in November should be best Nixon.
Cuomo, who has served as the state’s chief executive since 2011, is well-known in the Empire State for his often-controversial New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act rushed through the legislature in the weeks following the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. While the act has been implemented piecemeal over the past half-decade and seen numerous legal and legislative challenges, Cuomo has repeatedly stood by the measure, saying last year that “when they write the history books they’re gonna say New York got it right.”