The mass shooting in a grocery store in Buffalo led to calls for new laws at the federal level, particularly things like red flag laws.
We were told we needed such a law to avert such horrible tragedies.
There was just one problem. New York has such a law, only it wasn’t used. In fact, that seems to be kind of a thing.
In response to the bloody, racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket, the Legislature just passed a package of gun-control measures. That’s good.
But New York had already passed laws in response to mass gun violence — that aren’t being enforced. Executive leadership and effective implementation are also key to preventing bloodshed.
After the Parkland, Fla., high-school shooting, the Legislature enacted the Extreme Risk Protection Order law that lets a state judge issue an order barring an individual from buying firearms. That red-flag order would turn up on a background check if the person attempts to buy a gun.
The 18-year-old Buffalo shooter should never have been allowed to purchase a gun, let alone an AR-15-style weapon, and the court could have been petitioned to take away his guns once he did buy them.
The law was specifically designed for a person like him. It should have prevented the butchery from ever happening. It didn’t.
This is the perfect example of a legislature passing a good law only for the governor to not enforce and help implement it.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has been in office for 10 months, and the law still has not been implemented — nor has implementation been made a priority since the massacre.
I won’t say that it’s a good law. In fact, it’s a trash law that tosses due process out with the trash and allows certain people with a grudge to interfere with people’s Second Amendment rights.
But I do find it interesting that despite the law being on the books, it apparently hasn’t been implemented.
Considering how New York governors have been about guns and gun control, it would be easy to think that they’re true believers in the anti-gun cause.
Yet something as basic as a red flag law hasn’t been implemented yet in such an anti-gun state?
Why, it’s enough to make you think this was all just political theater rather than something motivated by a deeply held belief that such laws are essential for protecting public safety.
And we’re supposed to implement such laws nationally? Why? When one of the states screaming the loudest for them hasn’t bothered to implement theirs, why should anyone else trip over themselves to pass such a law?
And none of this even gets into the horrible problems with red flag laws, which I touched on earlier. There are profound issues with such measures, constitutional measures that has me questioning whether the Supreme Court would even allow such a thing to stand should they hear the case.
So no, I don’t see red flag laws as a viable outcome on the federal level when even New York can’t seem to make it happen.