NY 'red flag' gun-control law goes into effect Saturday

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NEW YORK (AP) - Amid a national gun-control debate, New York state's "red flag" law goes into effect Saturday.

It allows law enforcement, school officials and families to ask a court to order the seizure of firearms from people considered to be dangerous.

State legislators who support the measure emphasize that law enforcement will not suddenly take away someone's gun. Any petition must be accompanied by evidence of risk. A hearing will then determine whether a protection order is issued keeping a person from owning or purchasing a weapon for up to one year. A gun owner may appeal.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the "red flag" legislation in February.

Opponents say it curtails the rights of law-abiding citizens.

A total of 17 states and the District of Columbia have similar laws.