June 11, 2023

Westchester Co. D.A. Mimi Rocah tries talking up “red flag” gun control laws in response to the Nashville shooting:

“… In New York, something remarkable has happened. Statewide, the number of Extreme Risk Protection Orders, or ERPOs, skyrocketed from 500 filed in 2021 to 3,500 last year. While it’s hard to prove that any particular ERPO prevented a mass shooting, these numbers demonstrate that more people are empowered to report warning signs before it’s too late. We are confident, based on many of statements of fact supporting these ERPO petitions, that tragedies have been averted … Amendments passed last year strengthened New York’s law, making it mandatory for law enforcement to petition for ERPOs under certain conditions, and those amendments expanded the categories of people who could file for petitions to include health care professionals …”

Note that she can’t back up assertion with facts, but nevertheless she’s sure she’s right.

What about the mandatory reporting requirement Rocah touts?

“… Why didn’t the police invoke the state’s red flag law for the Buffalo shooting suspect? They won’t say. The Trace sent detailed questions to the New York State Police, which responded to the mass shooting threat at the suspect’s high school in Conklin, New York, last June. Beau Duffy, director of public information for the State Police, confirmed that officers did not seek an extreme risk protection order, but told us, “We are not going to comment further on this topic.” State police suggested to The New York Times that because the Susquehanna Valley High School student had not named a specific target in his threat to kill someone, the state’s red flag law was not invoked. But the law requires “a threat or act of violence or use of physical force directed toward self, the petitioner, or another person.” Threatening a shooting seems to satisfy this requirement, according to one of the bill’s sponsors …”

It’s not just New York where “red flag” laws fall apart either:

“… An Associated Press analysis found many U.S. states barely use the red flag laws touted as the most powerful tool to stop gun violence before it happens, a trend blamed on a lack of awareness of the laws and resistance by some authorities to enforce them even as shootings and gun deaths soar … data reviewed by the AP show nearly all petitions in several states were initiated by police, possibly because, as several surveys have shown, few people outside law enforcement are even aware the laws exist … Many police believe seizing guns can also be dangerous and unnecessary, even as a last resort, especially in sparsely populated areas where they know many of the residents with mental health issues, said Tony Mace, head of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association, which lobbied against the state’s law. “You’re showing up with 10 to 15 law enforcement officers and coming in the middle of the night and kicking in the door, and it’s already a dangerous environment,” said Mace, sheriff of Cibola County, a sanctuary county with just one order since 2020. “You’re dealing with someone in crisis and elevating it even more.” …”

As with most of the other schemes antigunners come up with it doesn’t take much effort to disprove the supposed effectiveness of their ideas.

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