Friday, December 30th 2022
Rochester, N.Y. — New York State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Moran ruled last week that one of the state's strongest gun laws is unconstitutional.
The Extreme Risk Protection Order law, also known as the Red Flag law, allows law enforcement to temporarily seize a person's guns based on someone else making a written allegation in a petition to a judge that the person poses a harm to themself or others.
Payton Gendron recently pleaded guilty to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges for gunning down 10 people in a racially motivated massacre at a Tops store in Buffalo earlier this year.
Less than a year before the May 14 attack, New York State Police investigated Gendron for a threat he made at his high school.
Zeneta Everhart, whose daughter Zaire, a Tops employee, was injured by Gendron, believes the Red Flag law could have saved many lives and prevented life-altering injuries if it was properly enforced when Gendron made the initial threat.
"These are things that authorities around him knew about," Everhart said. "These are things that law enforcement around him knew about, so why would he still have access to a gun?"
The attorney who successfully argued the unconstitutionality of the Red Flag law, Daniel Strollo, said the law allows a "very quick and easy mechanism to deprive somebody of their fundamental Second Amendment rights."
"You have people who are essentially not medical professionals expressing medical opinions that result in the deprivation of rights," Strollo said. "And you have a procedure that essentially allows somebody to lose those rights without ever having gone in front of a judge."