ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Governor Andrew Cuomo says he wants to pass stricter gun control regulations in the first 100 days of the legislative session including the controversial Red Flag Law. News10’s Mary Wilson sat down with the father of a Parkland school shooting survivor to get a unique perspective on gun laws.
He was father and a lawyer until a mass shooting at his daughter’s school thrust him into the world of political activism.
“I found out right away that at least my daughter was not on campus at the time and my son, my younger son, was at the middle school and thankfully safe and then, you know as the day went on we heard just how bad it was,” said Andy Klein.
His daughter was a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School when a teen gunman opened fire, killing 17 students and staff members. The wounded were treated at the hospital where Klein served as a board member.
“One individual was shot five times and luckily he was fortunate enough to still be alive and was saved,” said Klein.
A week later, Klein and his daughter were at the White House listening session. The conservative says many discussions on gun reform have been misguided.
“We need to harden the schools use of technology, we need to essentially anticipate and prepare and be able to execute when these things happen, and that just didn’t happen here,” he said.
Here in New York, the proposed Red Flag Law would enable courts to issue an order to temporarily seize firearms from a person who is believed to pose a severe threat of harm. Klein says the Parkland shooter had shown obvious red flags.
“This assailant was known to the school, he was known to the sheriff’s office, there were even two FBI notifications, one in which he said ‘I want to be a school shooter.’”
Klein says policies need to be in place to both detect those red flags and take action.
“I think under the right circumstances, that is something that can be helpful,” he said.
And Friday an official is held accountable as the Florida governor suspended Sheriff Scott Israel over his department’s handling of last year’s parkland school shooting.
Klein says his daughter and his community are healing – but there are still many lessons to be learned to prevent another school tragedy.