Teachers and school administrators in New York state can now alert a judge about students who they worry could be a threat to themselves or others after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday intended to help prevent school shootings, suicides and other tragedies.
A judge would have the power to order a mental evaluation of the student and direct the removal of firearms from his or her home under the new law, which passed the Legislature earlier this year.
Cuomo signed the bill into law at a Manhattan event alongside U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who praised the legislation as a smart approach to gun control and school safety. The two Democrats were also joined by a Long Island couple whose son, Scott Beigel, was a teacher killed in last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and by Mark Barden, the father of a 7-year-old boy slain in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
Pelosi said the U.S. House will be taking up legislation this week that would expand the federal background check system for gun sales.
“I want the families to know that this will not end here,” Pelosi told the audience. “We have more to do but it’s not about taking guns away from people, it’s just making sure that the law is effective.”
Lawmakers in New York have passed a handful of other gun-control related bills this year that await Cuomo’s signature, including ones banning teachers and other school employees from bringing firearms onto school grounds, and one that would extend the waiting period from three days to 30 days after an inconclusive background check before a gun can be purchased.