KINGSTON – Ulster County has put in place a coordinated effort between law enforcement, government, and educators to implement the state’s new extreme risk protection law – the Red Flag Law – that is aimed at preventing persons who show signs of being an “extreme risk” to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing firearms.
The coordinated efforts, announced on Friday, include providing and sharing resources and knowledge to fully implement the new law, including the distribution of required court forms with law enforcement agencies and schools in the county.
County officials said most perpetrators of mass shootings exhibit warning signs before the shooting. In those cases, an extreme risk protection order has the potential to stave off such shootings when appropriately used.
The Red Flag Law provides necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process protecting the rights of responsible gun ownership, while also working to ensure that tragic acts of gun violence do not occur.
Saying “enough is enough,” County Executive Patrick Ryan said, “We are now taking common sense actions that will save lives. When it comes to the scourge of gun violence and its warning signs, nobody in our community should ever feel powerless again.”
Sheriff Juan Figueroa said the “scourge of gun violence in our country is one of the most pressing issues of our time and protecting our citizens is the foremost responsibility of government.”
Press conference of “Red Flag” Law
Posted by Ulster County Sheriff's Office on Friday, August 23, 2019
District Attorney Holley Carnright said the bill “is not a Second Amendment statute. It is a law that offers all citizens a constitutional procedure to determine if an individual presents a risk to himself or others.”
Carnright said the new law “offers a sensible process that weds the concerns of every police officer, district attorney, school personnel, and an individual’s own family members, to avoid a potentially horrific tragedy.”