Gov. Hochul signs legislation strengthening New York’s already tough gun laws

(Juliana Alford)
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 3:40 PM EDT
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ALBANY, NY (WBNG) -- Governor Kathy Hochul signed new legislation Friday to exempt applications for an Extreme Risk Protection Order from requiring an index number fee.

According to Governor Hochul, this legislation will strengthen New York State’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law, which belongs under the state’s Red Flag Law. The law prevents individuals who are a risk to themselves and others from owning or buying a gun. New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.

The Red Flag Law provides procedural safeguards to ensure that no firearm is removed without due process while helping to prevent tragedies. Since, the law was enacted in June 2022, following the deadly shootings at a Tops Market in Buffalo, NY and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the number of Extreme Risk Protection Orders, or ERPOs, has increased tenfold. Typically, law enforcement will need to apply for an ERPO, which may then be granted by a court.

Locally, ERPOs have been issued by the Broome County Sheriff’s Office after a man drove through Broome County armed while on Facebook Live in December 2022 and when Binghamton Police arrested a man for stabbing someone on Lydia Street in November 2022.

“Red Flag Laws play a critical role in keeping our communities safe by allowing concerned individuals to raise awareness about potential threats,” Governor Hochul said in a news release. “This piece of legislation will ensure increased accessibility with a more straightforward process for New Yorkers to take proactive measures in preventing harm and promoting public safety.”

The legislation exempts applications for an Extreme Risk Protection Order from requiring an index number fee. By eliminating this fee, the enacted legislation will ensure there is no financial barrier for New Yorkers to keep their communities safe, Hochul’s office said.

On Sept. 13, the state adopted new gun laws that mandated the New York State Police oversee background checks for firearms and ammunition purchases. One change consumers will see is each ammunition background check will cost $2.50 while checks for firearms will cost $9. These fees will help fund the new program. All potential buyers must receive a “proceed” response from the New York State Police in order for a purchase to be completed.

For more information on ERPOs, follow this link.