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Can Legislation to Raise a 'Red Flag' Curb Guns and Violence in Schools? Lobbying Comes to CNY

John Smith/WAER News

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul came to Nottingham High School Monday to greet supporting students, teachers and administrators who want to prevent school shootings. 

The last-minute pitch is happening just before the end of the legislative session.  Hochul says the Red Flag legislation would act as another safety measure.

“We’re simply saying that when a teacher, an administrator, someone in a school, sees the signs they can petition a judge and say, ‘this young person needs to be evaluated.’  And if there’s guns available to this young person, we need to remove access to the guns because, think about all the lives that could have been saved if we had this in place in other states around the nation.” 

Hochul credits New York for passing the SAFE Act, which banned assault weapons in the state and limited the number of bullets in magazines to ten.  She says a state database which allows professionals treating people to identify those who could  harm themselves and others has resulted in 77,000 people not being able to purchase guns.

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Student Ana Kreidler-Siwinski helped organize a local March for Our Lives event and says the law could give people a chance to save lives.

Student Ana Kreidler-Siwinski is a co-organizer of Syracuse Students for Change which aims to prevent gun violence.

“It is not often that we think, ‘that death could have been prevented.’  And even less often that we think, ‘I am going to see what I can do to help reduce the number of murders that occur in my city.’”

Kreidler-Siwinski became active in speaking-out after shooting tragedies such as Parkland, Florida, because she values her friends and would never want to lose them.  Syracuse Superintendent Jamie Alicea says they need to continue to be vocal about stopping gun violence.

“As the Superintendent of this school district, I want to make sure that when you send your kids to school in the morning that they return home at the end of the day safe, and with more knowledge, than when they came in the morning.”

Lieutenant Governor Hochul says the Red Flag legislation is currently getting held up in the State Senate because Majority Leader John Flanagan won’t allow it to come to the floor for a vote.

Credit John Smith/WAER News
A crowd greeted Lt Gov Kathy Hochul as she lobbies for the Red Flag bill, with just days before the NYS Legislature session ends later this week.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.
John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.