Reaction to Cuomo's Red Flag Bill Mixed

NYAGV say it's another avenue, but SCOPE calls it 'stupid'

Tom Puckett
June 13, 2018 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Governor Cuomo is proposing a bill that would allow teachers or parents to petition a judge to remove guns from the homes of troubled students. He says it's in the hopes of reducing school shootings.

Budd Schroeder of SCOPE is not mincing words. "It's stupid," says Schroeder. "Teachers are not trained in the mental capacities of any student who may be there, and the judge is not the way to go. In the first place, if a student is dangerous in any way, shape or form, I would think the first thing to do is refer that person to a mental heatlh professional or a counselor, someone who knows what they're doing." 

Schroder adds a teacher could also take advantage of a bad relationship with a parent. "While it's unlikely, they could report the student to get revenge so to speak on a parent, then have to go through the process of having guns confiscated," believes Schroeder. Schroeder notes the bill also does not provide proper due process. 

For Paul McQuillen of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, it's not as strong a position for teachers as one may think. "All the governor's proposal is doing is allowing teachers to be reporters, so these matters can be referred to law enforcement and the judicial system for the courts to make a decision," says McQuillen. He says parents don't often catch the signs others might. "Too often, parents are too close or too busy to pay the attention they need to. Other students have relationships with teachers and administrators and see what's going on. I think that opens up another avenue."

McQuillen says the bill allows someone to go to a teacher and report concerns a student is talking about an act of violence and someone should look at that.


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