ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Schools across New York are beginning the academic year with a new tool intended to prevent student suicides and violence.
About one-third of U.S. states have so-called "red flag" laws, which allow courts to temporarily take firearms from people believed to be a danger to themselves or others.
But New York is the first to implement legislation empowering schools, in addition to police and relatives, to petition courts.
Supporters say the time teachers and other educators spend with students each day makes them uniquely suited to pick up on the kind of troubling behavior seen before recent school shootings.
Opponents to "red flag" laws have raised concerns about due process and argue the laws can be used to take away firearms from law-abiding citizens.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)