New York State Police Working on Red Flag Database for Guns
In a report published by Ed Drantch, the ABC 7 News Investigative Team learned that the New York State Police in conjunction with government officials are working on creating a red flag database to track who has been red flagged in New York, resulting in them being unable to purchase firearms or having the firearms they own taken away by a Judge's order.
The news comes in the wake of the Tops supermarket shooting in Buffalo, NY in May. Payton Gendron, charged with a plethora of crimes stemming from the incident, seemed to have fallen through the cracks of New York's red flag system, or lack thereof.
In a previous report from Bob Joseph of WNBF, it was noted that Gendron had made some disturbing comments in an online class regarding a murder/suicide. Following those comments, Gendron was taken to a hospital for evaluation and subsequently released and permitted to graduate from Susquehanna Valley High School without incident. And Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak stated that authorities "followed the procedures and protocols that were in place at the time."
When that information came to light in the wake of the shooting, many believed that Gendron's comments should have landed him on a red flag list, which may have prevented him from purchasing the firearm used in the shooting since he passed a background check run by the store owner who sold him the gun.
But as the ABC 7 Investigative Team learned from Governor Kathy Hochul, a red flag database didn't exist because the infrastructure to create it didn't exist. According to Governor Hochul, New York State Police are now working on building that infrastructure to create a database. She stated "You can't just create a database from nothing. There was a strong need. I've focused on this and our state police is working on this as we speak."
The report also indicated that there is no known timeline for the implementation of a red flag database.