LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — Gun reform advocates in Mineola rallied outside the Nassau Supreme Court Thursday, calling for stricter enforcement of a New York State law that they believe could prevent senseless shootings.
Linda Beigel-Schulman is one of a couple dozen people who attended the rally. She lost her son, Scott Beigel, in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
“Living without my son is the most unimaginable thing I’ve ever had to do,” Beigel-Schulman said.
Since that fateful day, she’s channeled her pain into purpose and has pushed for stricter gun reform nationwide. She and members of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action are calling for the enforcement of New York State’s Red Flag Law. The law prevents anyone showing signs of being a threat to themselves or others from buying or possessing a gun.
“Red flag laws is an existing gun safety measure that’s currently under-utilized here in Nassau County,” said Jana Nesbitt Gale of Moms Demand Action. “These laws provide space and time between the guns and the gun owners when they are thinking of harming themselves or someone else.”
Following the tragic shooting at a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 people and injured three others in 2022, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul required state police to expand their use of the Red Flag Law.
According to a Newsday report, Nassau County Police have issued 35 red flag orders since May of 2022, compared to Suffolk County, which issued 1,506 red flag orders during the same period. Advocates say more needs to be done by Nassau County officials to prevent future gun violence incidents.
“What are we doing?” questioned Beigel-Schulman. “What are we standing around just saying ok we have a law and patting ourselves on the back that we have a law? What good is a law if you don’t use it.”
We reached out to Nassau County police to confirm the latest number of red flag orders they’ve issued and to see if they’d want to respond to advocates saying more needs to be done to stop senseless shootings. We have not yet heard back.