NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the “Red Flag” gun control bill Monday.
The Red Flag Bill prevents people who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing firearms. If passed, it would make New York the first in the United States to give teachers and school administrators the possibility to prevent a school shooting with court action.
“To all the survivors and their families, to advocates, to the moms who demand action, you’re getting it today,” Cuomo said.
The made the announcement at John Jay College.
It’s called an extreme order of protection, CBSN New York’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“New York is proud of what we’ve done on the issue of gun violence,” Cuomo said, touting passage of the SAFE Act, which banned assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and required background checks for private sales. “If you don’t have a background check on private sales you have nothing.”
Watch: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Nancy Pelosi Sign ‘Red Flag Bill’
“Today New York is proud once again to pass a first in the nation. The Red Flag Bill, which empowers school teachers to do something when they believe something bad is going to happen. And we empower school teachers not by giving them guns, which is the president’s idea. I mean, how ludicrous a concept: Arm the teacher so when the bad person comes into the classroom there can be a shootout in the classroom. I mean, it is really ludicrous and nonsensical. No, arm and empower the teacher with the law, so that when they see there’s a problem… or a family member sees there’s a problem and believes that person can be a danger to themselves or others, they can go to a judge and say ‘Judge, please do an evaluation.’ It is common sense. If you believe that was going to happen, why would you sit back and do nothing? You protect the individual’s rights because you go to a judge and there’s a court ordered evaluation. Over half of the school shootings, the teachers now say there were signs. There were signs in the person’s behavior, in the destructiveness, students who were suicidal, over half the time there were signs. And if that teacher or that administrator had recourse and could’ve gone to a judge and said ‘Please do an evaluation. I think this young person needs help. Please help them.’ How many lives could have been saved?” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said this “has to be done nationally” because it’s too easy for guns come across state lines.
“This gun violence issue is a national health epidemic in our country,” Pelosi said. “And Mr. President, if you want to talk about emergencies, this is an emergency.”
Pelosi also called for background checks on all gun sales, saying that Congress would take up a series of measures all week long taking aim at gun violence.
“It’s not about taking guns away from people. It’s just making sure that the law is effective and doing a background check in a timely way,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also brought up the president’s declaration of a national emergency on the border.
“This is not about politics. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the constitution of the United States of America,” Pelosi said, adding that, under Article 1, the legislative branch has the power of the purse. “So this is not about partisanship. This is about saying we must honor our oath of office. To let the executive branch get away with this assault on the constitution, we would be delinquent in our duty to the oath of office that we take and defile the core, the heart, of the constitution, which is the separation of powers, co-equal branches of government as a check and balance on each other.”