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Criminal defense attorney predicts pushback for stronger ‘Red Flag’ Law

June 8, 2022

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A package of new gun laws in New York State was signed into law, on Monday.

It includes several provisions, including raising the age to get a semiautomatic rifle to 21, strengthening social media regulations for hate speech, and micro-stamping bullets and shells.

Peter Pullano, an attorney with Tully Rinckey in Rochester says these laws mostly target the problems we saw in the Buffalo mass shooting.

Namely, how the suspect obtained the semiautomatic rifle, in the first place.

“The most important significant thing we’re looking at now is raising the age for semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21,” he said.

But it’s possible some of these new laws will be held up in court, he says.

Specifically, changes to New York’s Red Flag Law; the law allowing family and law enforcement to petition the removal of one’s firearms if there’s a credible threat.

Now, the list includes health providers and mental health professionals.

“…If they think the person may be at risk. I think this is one of those things that may well be challenged,” he said. “People tend to look to professionals as the person they talk to in confidence, this may put an obligation on them to turn in their own client.”

But Pullano says it’s not unprecedented. These professionals have a similar ruleset for when someone may commit a crime.

How much will change moving forward, remains to be seen.

“The devil is going to be in the details here, we will see some challenges, but it’s a little too early to tell how the mental health community and professionals are going to handle it,” he said.

“The red flag law is supposed to do just that — put a red flag on someone perceived as dangerous or armed and dangerous.”

Whether these rules will make a noticeable difference in society, also remain to be seen.

“We already have a lot of these laws on the books it’s a question of whether or not they’re going to be complied with,” said Pullano.

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