ALBANY, N.Y. — Teachers and school administrators would be able to ask a judge to remove guns from the homes of troubled students under a first-of-its-kind proposal announced Tuesday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Democratic governor acknowledged his proposal will run into political opposition from Republicans, including those that control the state Senate. But he said it's a commonsense way to prevent school shootings and get help to students at risk of harming themselves or others. He said it was a far more effective way of protecting students than arming teachers.
"This is a sensible, positive, helpful alternative," he said. "Many times the teacher knows this an issue."
Under the measure, teachers and school administrators would have legal standing to petition a court to remove any firearms from the homes of students considered a threat to themselves or others. New York would be the first state in the nation with such a law if the bill passes.
Teachers unions are backing the proposal. Several appeared alongside Cuomo when he announced the legislation Tuesday in Manhattan.
"If you see a child who clearly is demonstrating some troubling behavior, we want you to have that ability to bring that out and deal with it," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.
Cuomo's proposal isn't likely to pass the Republican-led state Senate, especially with only two weeks before lawmakers adjourn for the year. Republicans did not weigh in on the bill Tuesday. Senate Republicans already have advanced their own legislation that would increase funding for armed school security officers.
The governor also is pushing legislation to raise the minimum age to buy firearms from 18 to 21.