Rep. John Katko on Monday afternoon was joined by local law enforcement, including Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler and Deputy Chief Roger Anthony, Central New York educators and mental health providers to highlight his bipartisan gun control legislation crafted to keep communities safe.
At a news conference at the Camillus Police Department, the former federal prosecutor said he began putting the bipartisan support together after learning from Chief Butler about a standoff with an armed and disturbed individual that was peacefully resolved. Katko said he thinks there is support from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Second Amendment argument for the bill to pass, either before or after November’s mid-term elections.
The Auburn incident happened shortly after the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. West Genesee School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Brown said the legislation would protect schools.
Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway added the incidents that could have been prevented by a so-called red flag law in New York go largely unreported.
The red flag law would allow law enforcement to temporarily restrict access to firearms if individuals demonstrate “red flags” that they may be a danger to themselves or others.
Katko’s Democratic opponent wasted no time in voicing her opposition to the bill. In a statement released later on Monday afternoon, Dana Balter said “This weak and toothless bill will do little to make us safer.”