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In Syracuse, Hochul stumps for 'Red Flag' gun bill as legislative session ends Wednesday

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul at Nottingham High School in Syracuse.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Syracuse Monday pushing gun safety legislation meant to address school shootings. The bill, which would prevent individuals from buying or possessing guns who are believed to be a severe threat to themselves or others, is still tied up in the state legislature.

Hochul was joined by Nottingham High School students and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh in support of the bill that would allow a teacher or administrator to petition a judge, when they see warning signs from someone.

“If there’s guns available to this young person, we need to remove access to the guns,” Hochul said.

The Red Flag Gun Protection Bill passed the Assembly last week, but is stalled in the State Senate, where Hochul said Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan refuses to allow a vote. Democrats and Republicans are numerically split in the Senate.

“We just need one Republican to not succumb to the pressures of the NRA, and then we can get this through," Hochul said. "The Republicans who refuse to answer these cries for help, need to be held accountable. If you don't want to vote with us, you don't have to, but at least let democracy work and let there be an opportunity to let people say who they're with. Are you with the NRA or are you with the students? I'd like to hear their answers.”

Ana Kreidler-Siwinski, who is finishing up her junior year at Nottingham, and helped organize a gun control rally at the school earlier this year, said she supports the legislation.

“The bill does focus on a small part but it’s a good start to getting the whole picture of gun violence,” Kreidler-Siwinski said.

The state legislative session ends Wednesday.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.