BUFFALO, N.Y. — Since the Buffalo mass shooting in 2022, thousands of Extreme Risk Protection Order petitions (ERPOs) have been filed in New York state.

This comes after lawmakers expanded the Red Flag Law, which people can apply for when someone is believed to be a threat to themselves or others and owns a gun.

“I believe that there’s always been a seriousness to threats, but now it has a hometown reference, right? Everything goes back to [the shooting at] Tops when you hear or see some of the threats that come in,” said Craig Macy, chief of detectives at the Buffalo Police Department.

BPD established a Threat Management Unit in November 2022, dedicating four detectives and one sergeant to investigating these petitions full-time. 

Macy said they have obtained 90 permanent ERPOs thus far in the city of Buffalo. This excludes any temporary ERPOs, which are issued during an investigation to ensure due process before any firearms are taken permanently.

Across the state, since June 2022, around 3,500 permanent ERPOs have been issued. The majority of individuals issued these orders are between 18 and 24.

“They’re a lot more erratic with some of the threats that they say, from what I’ve seen, which triggers the response,” said Macy. 

So far in 2024 alone, 51 ERPO petitions have been filed across the state and 47 have been issued.