ALBANY — Following the second in a series of conferences to raise awareness about the state's Red Flag gun safety law that went into effect this year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo launched a grassroots effort Saturday to bolster his "Make America Safer" campaign — a four-point plan to curb gun violence on the national level.
Cuomo has called on Democratic presidential candidates to endorse the "Make America Safer" pledge — and Saturday Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives joined the governor's call for candidates to sign the pledge.
The social media campaign will focus on engaging and activating key coalition partners, advocates and concerned citizens who support the Make America Safer Pledge to help generate greater awareness and insert these important issues into the national dialogue about gun safety, while tracking their efforts across various social media platforms.
Following the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio in August 2019, Governor Cuomo called on the Democratic presidential candidates to support the "Make America Safer Pledge," which includes the following gun safety measures that New York passed in 2013 with the SAFE Act:
• Outlaw assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
• Create a mental health data base to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from purchasing a firearm
• Pass universal background checks closing the private gun sales loophole
• Pass Red Flag legislation preventing individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm
"As the federal government continues to abdicate its responsibility to protect the people in this country by failing to take action on meaningful, common sense gun control, it is now more important than ever to have a leader in Washington that has a plan to tackle these issues and end this violence once and for all," Cuomo said. "New York state passed these laws six years ago and they have worked. No legal gun owners' rights have been violated, but unnecessary, dangerous weapons are off the streets and dangerously mentally ill people cannot buy guns. We were the laboratory, and now it must be done on the national level."
Cuomo on Saturday hosted the second of three conferences to help teachers, school administrators and parent representatives understand the new law and how to use it to keep schools safe. The law, part of the nation's strongest gun laws, establishes a new civil procedure that allows a concerned family member, school official or member of law enforcement to obtain a court order — known as an Extreme Risk Protection Order — to remove and keep guns away from individuals who pose a serious risk of harm to themselves or others. The court order specifically prohibits a person from purchasing or possessing a firearm, rifle or shotgun while the order is in effect. The new law became effective Aug. 24.
A call center offering information and links to step-by-step instructions about how to apply for an Extreme Risk Protection Order are now operating. The call center can be reached at 877-NYS-0101 and will be operated Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.