On February 25, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed SB 2451, a firearms-related bill. The New York State Legislature approved the bill along party lines in January. According to the New York State Senate website, SB 2451 “establishes extreme risk protection orders as a court-issued order of protection prohibiting a person from purchasing, possessing or attempting to purchase or possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun.”
The law authorizes law enforcement officers, family members, and certain school officials to ask a court to issue an order restricting a person deemed likely to harm themselves or others from accessing firearms.
New York joined 13 other states—California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—in enacting laws authorizing courts to issue extreme risk protection orders. Of those states, Florida was controlled by a Republican trifecta when the law was adopted. Six other states—California, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island—were controlled by Democratic trifectas.
Prior to the 2018 elections, New York had a divided government. Democrats held the governor’s office and the state House. In the state Senate, Democrats held 32 seats to Republicans’ 31. However, Republicans controlled the chamber, as one Democratic state senator caucused with the Republican Party. Following the elections, New York has a Democratic state government trifecta.