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Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued the following statement regarding S.7133-A (Kavanagh) / A.8976-B (Simon), a bill in the New York State Legislature that would create a civil process for individuals to petition for an “extreme risk protection order” (ERPO). An ERPO would bar someone else from possessing or purchasing a gun if that person is found to pose a serious risk of harming themselves or others. The New York State Assembly Codes Committee is expected to vote on the bill today.

“Parkland. Las Vegas. Orlando. Sutherland Springs. Newtown. Aurora. Over and over again, innocent Americans are gunned down in schools, movie theaters, workplaces, and houses of worship. Even more appalling, in many cases, shooters exhibit clear indications that they are deeply troubled before they pulled the trigger, but those around them were unable to prevent them from obtaining deadly firearms.

In New York State we have an opportunity to ensure that, when the next potential Nikolas Cruz exhibits clear red flags, that individual can be disarmed before another tragedy. The legislature has the chance to take up a bill that would establish a civil process in which law enforcement, family, or household members can petition for an “extreme risk protection order” to bar an individual from owning guns—and require law enforcement to confiscate any guns that individual already owns—if the subject exhibits clear warning signs that they pose a risk to themselves or others. California, Oregon, and Washington State have already adopted this common sense approach. Senators Brian Kavanagh and Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon have worked tirelessly with the ERPO coalition of advocates to craft a bill that carefully balances public safety with an appeal process to protect the rights of the individuals who may be subject to these orders.

There are no more excuses for delay.

Protective orders can’t prevent every senseless tragedy, but they are a necessary step in the right direction. In the face of gridlock in Washington, states like New York must lead on common sense solutions to the gun violence epidemic.

Our children will not—and should not—forgive us if we continue to fail to protect them from entirely predictable and preventable tragedies. I urge my colleagues in the legislature to quickly pass this critical, common sense legislation.”